A 48-year-old Ramsey woman has been sentenced to 160 hours community service for benefit fraud.

Louise Lillian Hitchen failed to declare that she was working as a courier as well as a self-employed baker and dog sitter while claiming benefits.

This resulted in her being paid £6,948 she was not entitled to.

Hitchen pleaded guilty to three counts of making a false representation to obtain benefits and one of DHSC fraud - failing to inform a change of circumstances.

We previously reported that the offences took place between March 2020 and April 2021.

Hitchen, who lives at May Hill, made false declarations on Job Seekers’ Allowance forms and in an online Manx Earnings Replacement Allowance (MERA) online application stating that she was unemployed despite having returned to work as a Hermes courier, baker and dog sitter.

Defence advocate Winston Taylor said that the offences had occurred after his client had problems with her mental health and the breakdown of a relationship.

A probation report assessed Hitchen as a low risk of reoffending and of harm to the public.

The court heard that repayment of the benefits would be dealt with by the Treasury.

High Bailiff Jayne Hughes sentenced Hitchen to 160 hours for each offence, to run concurrently.

She was also ordered to pay £50 prosecution costs.