Nurse convicted of fraud spared prison sentence

A Northern Ireland nurse who was convicted of benefits fraud has been spared a prison sentence.

Sharon Nelson, aged 52, pleaded guilty to six charges of fraudulently obtaining income support, housing benefit, and a carer's allowance while working as a support nurse for the Western Health and Social Care Trust. The benefits she received fraudulently totalled £57,925.50, beginning in 2003.

The judge, albeit hesitantly, opted to sentence Ms Nelson to 240 hours of community service, rather than imposing a prison sentence, despite her previous convictions for theft and deception. Ms Nelson has entered into an agreement that will see her pay back the benefits received at a rate of £100 per month, resulting in total payment within approximately 48 years.

If you have been accused of a criminal offence in Northern Ireland Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors can provide you with advice and representation in both the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court. Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors provide a 24 hour police station call-out service to all police stations in Northern Ireland. To contact one of our criminal solicitors please call us on freephone 0800 8400549.