A Dunbar grandmother has been tagged for a year after making bogus benefit claims worth more than £70,000.
Avril Lorimer was led away in her wheelchair to be fitted with the device after sentence was passed at Haddington Sheriff Court.
The court heard the 62-year-old had enjoyed holidays abroad, sometimes with 13 or 14 family members, as she cheated the system.
It was only when she and her husband applied for a joint tenancy with East Lothian Council that the authorities realised she was not living alone, as stated on her claims.
Lorimer was found guilty by trial in August of making fraudulent claims for income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit between 2002 and 2011.
She had denied failing to notify the authorities that her husband Thomas Lorimer had returned to the matrimonial home at 44 James Court and that they were maintaining a joint household.
Addressing the court last Wednesday, Defence Advocate Drew McKenzie said Lormier felt she had to contest the charge as her husband was only there on certain days of the week and did not make any financial contribution.
“As far as she is concerned there had to be a trial, because her position was that she did not believe she was living in a joint household with Thomas Lorimer,” he said.
Mr McKenzie said his client had not set out to deliberately deceive the authorities, as her claim had started out as a genuine one. The court was told £12,000 of the money had already been repaid.
Sheriff Braid agreed there were exceptional circumstances, in term of her health and other issues, which allowed him to consider an alternative to imprisonment.
He told the accused: “Although there were annual holidays, some of them overseas, you did not by and large enjoy a lavish lifestyle.”
He added that the principal beneficiary appeared to have been her husband, who was living rent free.
A restriction of liberty order was imposed, requiring Lorimer to be home every day between noon and midnight.
While this would not prevent her from attending medical appointments, Sheriff Braid said it would restrict her social life and prevent her from going on holiday.
More stories from Haddington Sheriff Court in this week’s East Lothian News, on sale now.