BARNSLEY Council has prosecuted a local woman for council tax fraud.

Victoria Hatch of Pack Horse Green, Silkstone, was prosecuted for falsely claiming a single person council tax discount of £1,053.86 over a three-year period - even though she was living with her partner.

The council’s corporate anti-fraud team investigated and found that she was not entitled to the discount.

On May 5 she pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud at Barnsley Magistrates Court.

Ms Hatch paid back the discount she owed and lost her job as a result.

The court also made her the subject of a conditional discharge for 12 months, ordered her to pay a contribution of £300 towards prosecution costs and pay a victim surcharge of £15.

Cabinet spokesperson for Corporate Services, Coun Alan Gardiner, said: “Barnsley Council is committed to minimising, identifying and dealing with instances of theft, fraud and irregularity. This was a deliberate attempt to falsely claim for a discount from the council.

“Council tax fraud deprives the council of funding used to support the whole community. This case demonstrates that the council will not tolerate this type of abuse and will pursue prosecutions where appropriate.”