AN ELLESMERE Port woman has been handed a two-year suspended prison sentence for dishonestly claiming more than £24,000 in benefits.

Vanessa Huxley, 31, from Redhill Mews, was sentenced at Chester Crown Court today.

She had previously admitted three offences of dishonestly failing to promptly notify Cheshire West and Chester Council, formerly Ellesmere Port and Neston borough council, and the Department for Work and Pensions of a change in her circumstances.

She knew that by living with her partner it would affect her entitlement to Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support.

The court sentenced her to six months imprisonment for each offence to run concurrently, suspended for two years.

She was also ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid work.

Miss Huxley is required to fully repay the overpaid benefit to Cheshire West and Cheshire Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

If you think someone you know is claiming benefit that they are not entitled to, then you can report your suspicions by calling 0300 123 7030 or via the council website at