Elizabeth Mary Bones, 50, had received £6,657 as a result of her fraud, prosecution solicitor Antony Farrell told York Magistrates’ Court. Her solicitor Nick Clough said she had wanted to speed up the sale of the marital home. The court heard that she and her husband had split up some years earlier. She had no previous convictions. Bones, of Shipton Road, north York, pleaded guilty to using an article for fraud purposes and fraud by false representation. Magistrates told her: “Although there is a long history to this case and we have some sympathy for you, this is nonetheless a serious case and there is a victim in this case.” They made her subject to a 12-month community order with 100 hours’ unpaid work and ordered her to pay £1,000 compensation. The court heard that Bones took a screenshot of a document apparently sent to her by a representative of an organisation in the area where she was living and submitted it to the Government service via an online portal. But the document was a forgery. So far none of the money she gained as a result of the fraud has been repaid. Mr Clough said: “It is a cocktail of events that brings Elizabeth Bones into the dock of this court.” He accused the husband of delaying the sale of the marital home and said Bones had wanted to make it easier for the family court to order that the house be sold. “She needed the house to be sold in order to move on with her life,” he said. At the time Bones had been under a “great deal of pressure” including her mother’s illness and her stepfather’s ill-health. Her mother has since died, he said. When an investigation began into the document, she had immediately admitted what she had done, said Mr Clough. She had no previous convictions. She was currently on sick leave suffering from pressure and anxiety. The family court deals with disputes over financial arrangements between spouses when they break up.
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