A FORMER Rosyth woman who fraudulently claimed more than £11,000 of benefits has escaped a prison sentence.

Caroline Black failed to tell the authorities that her health situation had improved and she was working as a golf club receptionist.

Appearing at Dunfermline Sheriff Court for sentencing on Wednesday, Black, 51, now of Salvesen Gardens, Edinburgh, admitted that between April 3, 2014, and April 10, 2016, both dates included, at Hudson Road, Rosyth and elsewhere, she failed to tell the Department for Work and Pensions of a change in circumstances which she knew affected her entitlement to Disability Living Allowance.

She failed to report significant improvements in her mobility and ability to manage her declared incapacities/disabilities resulting in a reduction in the care and assistance required from others to perform everyday tasks, tasks which she had performed regularly without care and assistance from another and, in doing so, obtained £11,013.60 which she was not entitled to.

Depute fiscal Azrah Yousaf said Black was working at a golf club on the reception.

"She was able to drive herself to work and was able to walk unaided from the car to the reception area, a distance of 50 metres and had a good work ethic and a good attendance record.

"She was asked to attend an interview with the DWP and was thereafter cautioned and charged."

Solicitor Ian Beatson said his client was appearing as a first offender.

"The background to this offence is in the year proceeding this matter, her mother had died," he said. "She was suffering from mental health issues and also has other health issues.

"She accepts she had not contacted DWP when her medical condition did improve. She is ashamed at what has taken place. She has found the whole procedure somewhat daunting.

"She has now repaid some £1,600 and 17 per cent of her wages are deducted by the DWP and that is why she still wishes to continue to work in order that she can make full restitution for the payments she received."

Sheriff Charles Macnair said he was "just prepared" to give a non-custodial sentence.

He told Black: "This was a significant benefit fraud. Benefit fraud is fairly easy to commit but hard to detect and it causes a significant impact on general public finances."

He placed her on a community payback order requiring her to do 270 hours of unpaid work within nine months.