A benefit fraudster forged her husband’s signature on a credit card application shortly before he died, York Crown Court heard.

Susan Mary Kamp married Franz Kamp in 2004, the last year of his life, said Patrick Palmer, prosecuting.

On March 5 of that year, she filled in an application form for a Capital One credit card in both their names and signed it for both, forging his signature to do so.

By the time Mr Kamp died later the same year she had run up £1,200 on the card.

Her deception was not discovered until long afterwards because Mr Kamp’s will was disputed and was eventually declared invalid.

Only then did his son see the form and realise that the signature was not his father’s.

Susan Kamp went on to defraud the taxpayer and was convicted of and sentenced for benefit fraud in 2012.

Susan Kamp, now 65, of George Street, in central York, pleaded guilty to forgery and was ordered to comply with a six-month curfew from 9pm to 6am every night.

In a probation report, the court heard she is disabled and lives on disability benefit and her state pension. She is repaying the benefit she stole at £116 a month.

She also suffers from depression, for which she is receiving psychiatric help.

Andrew Semple for Kamp, said the credit card company would probably not have issued the card had it known of her background. She had made some repayments on the card.

York Crown Court heard that Kamp had appeared before the courts on 14 previous occasions and been convicted of 28 offences, but most of them had been committed many years ago.