A BENEFITS cheat has admitted a £48,000 fraud after failing to declare she had a home in London during a decade-long deception.

Sarah Kain of Pippen Field, Warndon Villages, Worcester has yet to sell her London home to free up cash to pay back the money she swindled from the state, claiming she cannot put the house on the market because a tenant is still living there.

The 51-year-old was warned she could go to jail after she admitted five counts of benefit fraud over a period of 10 years (between 2007 and 2017) when she appeared before judge Robert Juckes QC at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday.

Wearing a white coat and scarf, Kain was asked to stand in the dock of court one as the charges were formally put to her by the clerk of the court.

Kain admitted five counts of making a dishonest representation to obtain benefit for herself (housing and council tax benefit) by making a false statement to Worcester City Council in that she failed to provide information that she had capital in the form of a property in Marathon Way, London.

The first count on the indictment was from January 9, 2007 and the last count related to a 'like offence' of benefit fraud on February 16, 2017.

Belinda Ariss, for Kain, said the amount involved in the fraud was £48,000 which she her client received over 10 years and related to housing tax benefit and council tax benefit.

Judge Juckes said the offences crossed the custody threshold and asked Miss Ariss whether her client had sold her London home to pay back any of the money.

Miss Ariss said: "She has a tenant in the property in London. She is in the process of putting it on the market subject to the tenancy agreement.

"It's a long term tenant. If it didn't have a tenant in it, it would clearly be on the market and sold by now."

William Dudley, prosecuting, said a proceeds of crime timetable had been drawn up and a statement of the defendant's assets should be served by the defence by March 14.

Judge Juckes asked Kain to stand and told her to make contact with a probation officer at the court so a report could be prepared before a sentencing hearing in a fortnight.

He renewed her bail, which had been unconditional, but asked her to make contact with the probation officer inside the court before she left the building.

Judge Juckes said: "The adjournment for a report isn't an indication of the type of sentence that will follow.

"That will be a matter for the court on the next occasion when all options remain open."