A costume designer who worked on a smash-hit Disney film has been handed a community sentence for benefit fraud.

Helen Beaumont, 37, of Holmesdale Road, held costume and design roles on Maleficent, a worldwide hit, but was found to have illegally claimed almost £20,000 in benefits.

The designer claimed the cash without disclosing savings of more than £16,000.

Beaumont was caught after an investigation was launched by the council.

At Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court yesterday afternoon, she was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty of two charges of fraud by failing to disclose capital.

She has repaid the illegally-claimed cash in full.

Beaumont’s CV shows a career spanning costume buying, supervising and design for a range of BBC and E4 shows, as well as work for the English National Opera, Royal Opera House and the Palace Theatre.

She also worked on videos for chart-topping musicians including Hot Chip, Scouting for Girls and Jarvis Cocker, while more than 40 TV adverts show off her costumes.

Councillor Jason Arthur, cabinet member for resources and culture, said: “Whatever your job, abusing the benefits system is an insult to the vast majority of families who play by the rules and we will not tolerate it.”