A DRUMRY pensioner who falsely claimed around £12,000 in benefits has been ordered to carry out unpaid work – whilst repaying the money she defrauded.

Margaret Clason, 71, appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court last Thursday for sentencing. She last appeared in October, when the court deferred sentencing to monitor repayments.

The OAP, of Hood Street, admitted claiming housing benefit and council tax benefit over a seven-year period.

Clason failed to tell West Dunbartonshire Council she was in employment and working for Swissport and Sodexo when she was claiming benefits between March 2011 and 2018.

In order to make repayments, the court heard previously Clason had been “forced” back into working four days a week.

Last Thursday, Clason’s solicitor said the money is being paid back at a cost of £200 every fortnight and she still has £5,300 outstanding to pay.

He added: “I have been advised by my client that it was agreed she was to pay £130 a fortnight but she rounded it up to £200 herself.”

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry told Clason: “There is £5,300 still left to pay. At the last court hearing, it was just under £7,000 outstanding.

“There is not much I can say that you haven’t told yourself 100 times. This should not have happened.

“You pleaded guilty at an early stage, and you’re doing what you can to repay the money.”

The sheriff ordered Clason to carry on making repayments and placed her on a community payback order to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work. He added: “This is reduced from 150 hours because of your early plea.”

“Usually I give people three months to carry out this work but because of your circumstance I will give you six.”

The Crown accepted a not guilty plea to Clason obtaining council tax reduction between April 31, 2013 and March 31, 2018.