A BENEFITS cheat who swindled more than £7,000 from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been fined.

Fiona McSherry, of The Chimneys, Cockenzie, obtained £6,907.07 of Housing Benefit she was not entitled to between December 7, 2015 and January 7, 2018.

McSherry was also paid £104.43 of Job Seekers Allowance that she should not have received between December 1 and 10, 2015.

The 51-year-old was due to appear in court for sentencing last Thursday after missing several previous court dates.

Her solicitor Mary Moultrie said her client was again not present but asked Sheriff Flinn to issue a sentence in her absence.

The sheriff agreed and after hearing the DWP is looking to retrieve the embezzled cash decided to mark the offence by fining McSherry £500.