A PRESTONPANS woman has offered to remortgage her home in a bid to pay back money she wrongly claimed in benefits.

Claire Robertson obtained £60,000 in tax credits from 2011 to 2018 after she informed the authorities she was living at home as a single woman.

Robertson, 34, began the wrongful claim in August 2011 and carried on claiming cash she was not entitled to, under her maiden name of Wells, until March last year.

But following an investigation, it emerged Robertson had married her husband in September 2008 and he was earning an income.

Robertson, of Dolphingstone View, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Thursday where she pleaded guilty to obtaining £60,000 in tax credits she was not entitled to.

Prosecutor Heather Carmichael told the court that Robertson had “not advised the tax credit office of her marriage” and was claiming the cash as a single person.

Ms Carmichael said: “She was residing with her husband and the tax credits should not have been paid on that basis. Her husband’s income had not been taken into account.”

The fiscal added “the matter came under investigation and the accused was arrested” on March 27 last year.

Police arrived at her home with a search warrant and she was taken to St Leonard’s Police Station in Edinburgh.

Robertson’s solicitor said his client “had made provisions to pay the money back” and stated she should be able to pay the money back to HMRC “as soon as possible”.

The lawyer said Robertson’s husband worked offshore and was “not always at home”.

He added that Robertson was willing to remortgage the family property in a bid to pay the money back.

Sheriff Peter Braid deferred sentence until December 11 for background reports and a restriction of liberty assessment to be prepared.

Robertson admitted wrongly obtaining tax credits amounting to £60,000 by claiming – between August 26, 2011 and March 27 last year – she was single with no other income when she was married and her husband was earning a salary.