A widow received £23,000 in benefits after failing to declare savings of £19,000, a judge heard when imposing a 24-week suspended jail term.

Patricia Wynne Jones, aged 58, of Dol Beuno, Bontnewydd, Caernarfon, must also carry out 100 hours’ unpaid work.

Judge Huw Rees, at Caernarfon Crown Court, said Jones had pleaded guilty to four frauds involving claims for jobseeker’s allowance, housing and council tax benefits and employment and support allowance.

“The offences are criminal offences because they involve dishonest conduct,” the judge remarked.

But Judge Rees said Jones had suffered the sudden death of her husband.

“This offending took place during a period of emotional turmoil,” he added.

Defence barrister Elen Owen said Jones was surviving on handouts from her children with all her money “restrained” in bank accounts.

The prosecution were seeking to recover cash, the court heard.