DOLE cheat Rosemary Chatfield has failed to get her two-month jail sentence reduced after fleecing the system out of more than £11,000.

The 53-year-old mum launched an appeal against the sentence at Swindon Crown Court, despite having served half of her time behind bars.

But a judge, sitting with two magistrates, upheld the sentence.

Tim Hills, prosecuting, told the court how Chatfield was on benefits when she married Douglas Shepherd at the end of March 2002.

She did not mention the fact or that he was working as a painter and decorator.

Later that year she completed a new benefit claim form, saying that there had been no changes in her circumstances to affect her claim.

He said that over the two-year period when she was claiming, Chatfield, who claimed she lived alone with her daughter, pocketed £11,081.18 in income support, housing benefit and council tax relief she was not entitled to.

When she was questioned by Department of Work and Pensions investigators she said they had not been together the whole time.

"She said they lived together for a short time. He mistreated her, he moved out and they only got together recently," he said.

"That was not right because work colleagues picked him up from outside her home and dropped him at the address and at one stage a colleague had been to a barbecue at the premises and he was present.

"Mr Shepherd had worked as a painter and decorator and gave Miss Chatfield's address as his. He was also on the electoral register there."

Chatfield, of Crombey Street, pleaded guilty to three counts of making a false representation to obtain benefits and asked for a further 40 matters be taken into consideration.

Andrew Hobson, defending, said that his client had married Mr Shepherd but he was addicted to alcohol and contributed nothing to the household so she continued to claim benefits.

Mr Hobson said that she had served 15 days, roughly half of her sentence.