A MAN returned to live with his estranged wife as a lodger after they both encountered health problems but she continued to claim benefits she was no longer entitled to, a court was told.

Wendy Taylor, 62, admitted that she failed to tell Denbighshire County Council and the Department for Work and Pensions that she was “maintaining a common household” with her husband John.

John Wylde, prosecuting at Llandudno court, said that between £20,000 and £25,000 was involved and action in a civil court was being taken to recoup the cash.

He said housing benefit and income and employment support allowance had been claimed between May 2014 and June last year.

At first her claims had been honest, but then she failed to mention he had been living with Mr Williams.

A probation officer told magistrates it was “a sad case” and said Taylor, of Rhydwen Drive, Rhyl, had not realised the severity of her actions.

Alex Fitzgerald, defending, said : “She’s extremely remorseful”.

The couple split but a few years ago he moved back in “not in a relationship but in an arrangement because they both had health problems”.

Taylor had no money and her husband paid the bills, the court heard.

“She’s terrified of what may happen today and ashamed of finding herself in this situation,” added the solicitor, who said Taylor had no previous convictions.

Court chairman Janet Ellis imposed a 12-month community order with 80 hours’ unpaid work and a 10-day rehabilitation requirement. Costs of £170 must also be paid.