A TRANENT woman who admitted claiming benefit money she should not have received has been placed on a community payback order.

Laura McLean claimed a total of £12,000 of benefits she was not entitled to from the local authority over an 18-month period.

McLean was given £5,000 in income support, £1,000 in jobseeker’s allowance and a further £6,000 in housing benefit after informing the local authority that she was living alone at her Lindores Drive home.

But she then failed to inform the authorities that she was living with Steven Cairns, who was in full-time employment, between April 2016 and December 2017.

McLean, 43, pleaded guilty when she appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month and she returned to the dock last Wednesday for sentencing.

Defending solicitor Mary Moultrie said that McLean had been “claiming for her children” and that she was now separated from Mr Cairns.

Ms Moultrie added that her client was “deeply ashamed” at appearing in court and that she had “shown insight” into her offending.

Sheriff John Cook noted that this was McLean’s first offence and said “a community-based disposal” was “appropriate in this case”.

The sheriff told McLean that she must complete 120 hours of unpaid work in the community as punishment for the offence.

McLean admitted obtaining £5,000 of income support she was not entitled to between April 1, 2016, and August 11 last year.

She also pleaded guilty to claiming £1,000 of jobseeker’s allowance she was not entitled to between August 12 and December 21 last year.

And McLean also claimed £6,000 of housing benefit she was not entitled to between April 1, 2016, and December 25 last year.