A BENEFIT cheat has been given 100 hours of unpaid work.

Louise Cooper, 29, of Spennells, Kidderminster, pleaded guilty to a charge of dishonesty failing to notify Wyre Forest District Council about a change in her circumstances.

Nina Dorrell, prosecuting for the district council, told Kidderminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Cooper had claimed she was living alone as a single parent. The court heard she had failed to declare her husband Darren Cooper had moved back in with her in March 2012.

The council's fraud investigators had found proof the couple were spending time together as a family. This included weekends away, frequent holidays, including several holidays abroad and outings together while she had continued to claim she was living alone.

As a result between March 5, 2012 and June 23, 2013, Cooper was paid £7,259 in housing benefit and council tax benefit and £1074 to which she was not entitled.

She was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work. She will have to repay the monies to the council and she was also ordered to pay costs of £300.