A FORMER pub landlady continued to claim benefits despite, at one stage, having £27,000 in her bank account.

Over a three-year period, Sandra Meyer received a total overpayment of £17,000 in employment and support allowance, council tax and housing benefits, Blackburn magistrates heard.

Meyer, 57, of Marlborough Road, Accrington, pleaded guilty to failing to notify a change of circumstances.

She was made subject to a two-month curfew between 9pm and 7am and ordered to pay £145 costs. The court heard arrangements had been made to recover the overpayment.

Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said Meyer told investigators she believed if she had less than £16,000 in the bank she would still be entitled to benefits.

Miss Akhtar said: “She claimed she did not know she had more than £16,000 in the bank although at one point she had £27,000.

“She denied doing anything intentionally dishonest but accepted she had failed to provide information.”

Graeme Parkinson, defending, said Meyer had worked as a licensee for four years but had come out of the pub on doctor’s orders because of physical and mental problems.

He said: “She was not involved in the realisation of the assets in the pub and money was paid into her account.

“Around the same time, she started to receive payments of £500 from the Child Support Agency. She did not keep an eye on her bank balance.

“For a few weeks she was over the limit by a significant amount and on other occasions by a lower amount.”