A SINGLE mum from Chirk has narrowly avoided a jail sentence to avoid 'punishing her children' after she admitted committing benefit fraud for a second time.

Alix Grantham, 33 and of Holyhead Road, was given a sentence of 12 months – reduced to eight after an early guilty plea – suspended for two years by Recorder Duncan Bould.

She had pleaded guilty to dishonestly failing to notify a change in circumstances and making a false statement to obtain payment at Wrexham Magistrates in September, after it was discovered she had begun fraudulently claiming income support and housing benefit claims in May 2017.

It was the second time she had been sentenced for benefit fraud, as she was previously jailed in 2013.

Mold Crown Court heard that Miss Grantham, who has two children and is expecting a third, had been given two amounts totalling £15,113.77, but had also been receiving around £2,200 a month from three separate sources in that same time.

Her defence stated that she was in an abusive relationship during the time of her previous conviction for benefit fraud in 2013, but that now she had begun to pay the money back through a deduction in her benefits, which she was now claiming legitimately.

However, Recorder Bould – who had labelled her 'greedy' – said that she was only avoiding jail because he did not want to punish her children for her mistake.

He said: "Notwithstanding the fact that in 2013 you were sent to prison for benefit fraud, you took over £15,000 from the state when, putting it bluntly, you didn’t need it.

"That is self-evident from your circumstances that you were working and living well but you took money.

"You took benefit from the outset while telling lies. You should go to prison immediately and there are things saving you from prison.

"You pleaded guilty, and your children I don’t intend to punish by removing you from their lives.

"It could have destroyed their lives but the only person responsible for that would have been you.

"You have every other reason to look forward positively with your three children and your degree."

She was also ordered to pay £140 in costs.