A HAMPSHIRE woman who cheated the public purse out of more than £7,500 must stay at home every evening for the next three months.

Leanne Gemma Peters was made the subject of a 12-hour curfew when she appeared at Southampton Magistrates’ Court and admitted three counts of benefit fraud.

The court heard that she claimed housing benefit, income support and job seeker’s allowance to which she was not entitled.

Daily Echo:

Julie Macey, prosecuting, said Peters failed to tell Southampton City Council and the Department for Work and Pensions that she was living with a partner.

Ms Macey told the court: “When the defendant was interviewed she admitted he was her partner but denied he lived with her.

“She said he had paid various bills because she ‘wasn’t very good with money’.”

Peters, 35, formerly of Green Park Road, Millbrook, but currently staying at Brookwood Road, Millbrook, admitted two offences of failing to tell the authorities about a change in her personal circumstances and one of making a false statement to obtain benefits.

Daily Echo:

She claimed job seeker’s allowance of £616, income support of £2,642 and housing benefit of £4,271, the court heard.

Peters committed the offences in 2016 and 2017 after telling the authorities she was a single mother.

She was handed a 12-week community order, including a curfew which requires her to stay at home between 7pm and 7am.

The defendant was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a victim services surcharge of £85.

Peters, who was not represented in court by a solicitor, initially declined to say anything about the offences.

But as she left the courtroom she turned to face the three magistrates and told them: “I just want to add that I am sorry.”