TWO East Yorkshire women have ended up with criminal records after being prosecuted for benefit fraud.

Debra Byard, 48, of Manor Road, Goole, was taken to court when East Riding of Yorkshire Council found out she had failed to declare an increase in her earnings and claimed £7,400 in benefits she wasn’t entitled to between August 2011 and September 2013.

Byard pleaded guilty at Beverley Magistrates court, and was ordered to repay the cash along with £400 in court costs, and handed a 12 month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work.

Meanwhile, Driffield woman Angela Cowton has got a criminal record after fraudulently claiming more than £3,000 in benefits.

Cowton, 45, of Wood Crescent, Driffield, appeared before Bridlington Magistrates and admitted she did not promptly tell both the council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about more than £40,000 she had in savings, which affected her entitlement to housing benefit and job seekers allowance.

The council and DWP discovered that because of the savings Cowton had fraudulently claimed £3,161 between August 2013 and January 2014.

She left court with a 12-month conditional discharge, but now has to repay the benefits and £85 in court costs.

Jeff Taylor, principal fraud investigation and enforcement officer for the council, said he hoped the results would act as a warning to anyone else thinking of cheating the system. He added: “ We will continue to use all the powers at our disposal to ensure money goes to those who genuinely need it, and not to the dishonest minority.”