A WOMAN from Grove has admitted illegally claiming a discount which meant she received 25 per cent off her council tax for more than five years.

Joanne Pepler, 53, of Elsworth Close, Grove, appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday, September 30, when she pleaded guilty to dishonestly failing to disclose information relating to her claim to obtain single person discount off her council tax.

Magistrates heard how, between March 2013 and April 2019, Ms Pepler had claimed single person discount despite the fact someone else was living with her.

As a result, she illegally claimed more than £2,400 in discounts off her council tax.

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Ms Pepler was caught out after failing to respond to a review of her account.

Her claim for the discount was frozen and the case passed to Vale of White Horse District Council’s fraud investigation team who uncovered her deception.

Magistrates sentenced Ms Pepler to a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered her to pay £350 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

She must also now pay the remaining 25 per cent council tax for each year that she illegally claimed the discount.

The case marked the second time in recent weeks a resident in the Vale has been prosecuted for claiming single person discount they were not entitled to.

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Cllr Andy Crawford, Cabinet Member for Finance at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “single person discount ensures that those living on their own don’t have to cover the same cost that two or more adults living together could share between them.

“However, if someone who doesn’t live on their own makes an illegal claim then it takes money out of the system which helps to pay for important public services.”