AN INVERKEITHING benefits fraud failed to disclose a rise in household income after getting into financial difficulties.

Jane Bishop (58), of Boreland Road, had previously admitting obtaining £2,500 to which she wasn't entitled.

At Dunfermline Sheriff Court on Wednesday, the court was told that between March 31 2015 and July 31 2016, she knowingly failed to give prompt notification to Fife Council about a change of circumstances she knew affected her entitlement to housing benefit in that her husband received an increase in his occupational pension payments.

Defence solicitor Sarah Meehan said her client had expressed great remorse for her actions and was already in the process of repaying the money.

"What comes across is this was not a well thought out plan on the part of Mrs Bishop," she said.

"She was aware of the increase in pension and was aware she required to tell the authorities and did not do so.

"Mr and Mrs Bishop were suffering from fairly significant levels of debt.

"They were struggling financially and, as a result, she was not in a position to survive on any lower benefits.

"She accepts that this was not an excuse for her behaviour but that's the explanation given.

"The whole court process is an alien one for Mrs Bishop. It has caused her great stress and anxiety and it is fair to say it is unlikely she will find herself in this position of offending again."

Sheriff Charles Macnair told Bishop that benefit fraud was something which had to be treated as a serious matter and placed her on a Community Payback Order with the requirement to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work within three months.