A Kenley grandmother has been jailed for six months after falsely claiming nearly £30,000 in benefits.

Theresa Aldous, of Godstone Road, lied to the authorities to claim widow's benefit, despite remarrying.

The 62-year-old also lied to claim housing benefit on a council house where she no long lived.

She was, in fact, letting her daughter live there as a sub tenant, effectively rent free.

The court heard despite marrying Richard Martin in Crete in 2002, Aldous continued to claim both widows' and housing benefit.

When quizzed by council fraud investigators, she claimed she was not married and that Mr Martin was a friend of the family.

When Greek authorities produced a marriage certificate she changed her story, claiming the wedding was a sham and not legal in the UK.

An investigation proved she had known all along her marriage was legal after booking a £15,000 wedding package from a UK travel agency.

In 2006, when Mr Martin died, Aldous declared herself to be his wife and next-of-kin, receiving £43,000 from his estate and work pension, which was paid into a bank account using her married name.

When asked why she had failed to disclose the income, she told council investigators she had spent the money on paying off debts and had given some away to her children to buy cars, holidays and other luxuries.

Aldous was jailed at Croydon Crown Court on April 25, after being charged on four counts.

She was sentenced to one month for failing to declare a change in circumstances, three months and four months for making false declarations on two housing benefit applications and one month for making a false statement to investigation officers.

Judge Ruth Downing said the message to the public was that the court treated such offences seriously.

She said Aldous had "lied and lied" and had shown a complete lack of remorse for her crimes.

Councillor Dudley Mead, cabinet member for finance, said: "I hope it serves as a warning to other benefit chats- our anti fraud team can and will prosecute you and you could go to jail for your crimes."

Anyone wishing to report fraud should call the Fraud Line on 0800 328 9270.