A fraudster who cheated the housing benefit system out of £13,000 has been given a suspended sentence.

Doreen Dankyi, of Herne Road, Bushey, received an overpayment of £13,000 between August 2014 and August 2016 - after she failed to tell her council about her change in circumstances.

She was on a salary of nearly £37,000 a year.

Dankyi was also receiving an income support of just over £7,000.

At St Albans Crown Court on March 4, Dankyi pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to promptly tell Hertsmere Borough Council of a change of circumstances which would affect her housing benefit entitlement, as well as tell the department for work and pensions of changes that would affect her right to receive income support.

The 46-year-old pleaded not guilty to both charges but was found guilty by the jury.

She was given a 26-week custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months.

She has also been given a curfew meaning she has to be at home between 9pm and 6am each night for the next three months.

Councillor John Graham, responsible for finance and property at the council, said: "This case sends out a clear message that discrepancies over benefits claims will be picked up by investigators and any suspected offenders will be prosecuted.

“Housing benefits and income support provide help to those in the most need. Claimants are responsible for making sure that they promptly notify the relevant authorities when their circumstances change."

To find out more about notifying the council of a change in circumstances visit https://www.hertsmere.gov.uk/Benefits--Council-tax/Benefits/Change-of-Circumstances.aspx