A benefits cheat who fraudulently claimed nearly £80,000 in seven years walked free from court today - despite lying about more than £25,000 in savings.
Avril Coombs, 55, illegally obtained income support, housing, and council tax benefits from 2000, by denying she had any money tied away.
However, when she was investigated by Harrow Council, officers found she had £25,000 worth of bonds in her name, nearly 1,500 shares, and from 2006 the money made from the sale of her £295,000 property in Dobbin Close, Harrow Weald.
Sentencing Coombs, his honour Geoffrey Breen said: "Ordinarily I would impose a custodial sentence but in this case, because of your health difficulties, the fact you pleaded guilty at the first possible moment and are repaying the money as we speak I am sentencing you to 12 months imprisonment - suspended for two years."
Coombs, who suffers from epilepsy and arthritis, claims she had no access to the bond or the shares because the certificates remained at her ex-husband's house after the marriage went sour two years ago.