‘Single mum’ conned her way to £30,000

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard false claims were made over four years.
Hamilton Sheriff Court heard false claims were made over four years.

A benefits cheat who got more than £30,00 by pretending she was living as a single mum has narrowly avoided a prison sentence.

Pamela McPartland (30), of Anderson Tower, Motherwell, was in tears as she left Hamilton Sheriff Court after being warned she’ll be paying back the cash ‘for a long time’.

She admitted getting income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit she wasn’t entitled to over a four-year period. The court heard the fraud came to light in July 2013.

McPartland was living with partner Jamie McPartland in Greenlaw Avenue, Wishaw, during the time she was claiming.

She filled in forms stating she was a single mum entitled to benefits while her partner was bringing in a wage as a full time worker.

Defence agent Alistair Buttery said the couple had a ‘volatile’ relationship and there were periods when they weren’t living together. The solicitor added: “She accepts she should have notified the benefits agency when he was staying with her.”

Mr Buttery said his client’s main concern was for her young daughter. He went on: “She has paid back around £1,500. A community-based sentence would allow her to keep her job and help her continue to make the repayments.”

Sheriff Joyce Powrie ordered McPartland to complete 200 hours of unpaid work within six months as an alternative to jail.

The sheriff added: “You’ll be paying back this money for a long time.”