A woman accused of fraudulently buying a council flat at a hugely discounted price faces a crown court trial.

Sarah-Jane Foster, 39, is said to have falsely claimed her right to buy her home in Tillingham Court, Waltham Abbey.

She appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court yesterday and the case was referred to crown court due to the seriousness of the alleged offence.

Foster is accused of falsely claiming she qualified under the five-year criteria to buy her council property, but is said to have lived in New Zealand from the end of 2008.

The court heard Foster gained a £67,500 discount on her flat when she bought it under the scheme in May 2012.

Foster did not enter a plea and was released on bail until her appearance at crown court on July 7.