A CONVICTED Greenock benefits cheat who defrauded the DWP out of thousands of pounds in Universal Credit cash has had a warrant issued for her arrest. 

Louise McIntosh was due to discover her punishment for swindling £12,000 from the government department more than five years ago but she failed to turn up at the sheriff court.

The 37-year-old fraudster's lawyer could offer no explanation for her no-show.

McIntosh was originally charged with falsifying a benefits claim form to obtain 17 monthly payments totalling £24,155 between March 2017 and August 2018.

The Crown prosecution proceeded to a summary trial earlier this year before McIntosh failed to appear at a follow-up hearing - claiming she was 'locked in her own house' - and then her solicitor, Amy Spencer, negotiated a plea deal for the reduced sum.

READ MOREGreenock benefits fraudster has repaid 'drop in the ocean' of swindled DWP sum

The Universal Credit fraudster knowingly made a false statement or representation, on behalf of herself and her partner, declaring the couple had less than £6,000 in savings - when, a previous court hearing was told, McIntosh actually had more than £42,000 in the bank.

The last calling of the case in October heard that McIntosh - who was described as having a 'fairly chaotic lifestyle' - has repaid a 'drop in the ocean' of the total figure owed.

More than £500 has been paid back so far but the Telegraph previously reported that McIntosh could be repaying her ill-gotten gains until she is almost eligible for the state pension - after it was said that she had been making monthly payments of £36.87 to the DWP.

Sentence had been deferred for an update from the DWP, however, following McIntosh's latest court no-show Sheriff Anthony McGeehan granted a warrant to apprehend.