'Single mum' caught in benefits scam after posting wedding pics on Facebook

Nicola Joy claimed £43,00 as a 'single mum' but was in fact married. Credit: Andrew Price / View Finder Pictures

Hairdresser Nicola Joy claimed benefits as a single mum - but dropped a clanger by putting her wedding photographs on her Facebook page.

Following a tip-off, investigators soon realised she was in fact married.

A court heard how benefits officials looked at her Facebook page – and found four photos of her in her wedding dress.

Her husband Gary Joy also declared his love for his “amazing wife” on their second wedding anniversary.

Nicola Joy, a partner in a hairdressing business, admitted a £43,000 benefits scam but escaped immediate imprisonment – mainly because she has a child to care for.

Mold Crown Court heard it was clear that she was married and since 2009 she had been on ten holidays, which she admitted she could not have done without her husband’s income, said prosecuting barrister Sion ap Mihangel.

It emerged that she also had a £2,000 share in a hairdressing business and was partner in it.

Joy, 28, of Wrexham Road in Mold, north Wales received a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

She was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work.

Mold Crown Court heard Nicola Joy admitted a £43,000 benefits scam. Credit: PA

Judge Rhys Rowlands, sitting at Mold Crown Court, said that she dishonestly failed to notify a change in her circumstances. That meant she was paid a significant amount of public money over a period of three years or so, to which she was not entitled.

More: Former Mr Wales jailed for £28k disability benefit fraud

Last year the UK Government launched a campaign for people to report on benefit fraud.