A BENEFITS thief has been given six months to make repayments in order to avoid a severe punishment.

On Thursday at Alloa Sheriff Court, Laura Beedie admitted failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions of a change in circumstances that affected her entitlement to Employment and Support Allowance.

The 40-year-old did not tell the DWP that her husband had moved back home and was in full-time employment.

Between October 2014 and February 2015, Beedie, of Clackmannan's Zetland Street, pocketed £1,618.40 of which she was not entitled.

Sheriff J.K. Tierney deferred the case until July 20.

He told the accused to "expect some form of punishment", but hinted that it would be more lenient if she had made regular repayments.