24 Dec 2013

Benefit thief eventually gets seven years

A 63-year-old woman who used a dead child’s identity to commit benefit fraud has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Yvonne Doyle was sentenced at Reading Crown Court after being convicted of 18 offences, committed over a 20-year period.

Doyle was found guilty by jury on July 13 following a trial lasting six weeks.

She was convicted of five counts of possession of an identity document with intent, four counts of obtaining services by deception, one count of obtaining a money transfer by deception and eight counts of benefit fraud against the Department for Work & Pensions and Milton Keynes Council – totalling a staggering £265,388.

The offending began in the late 1980s and continued up until the time of her arrest in December 2009.

Doyle was arrested on December 9, 2009 and charged on December 16, 2010. She was released on bail to appear at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court on January 28, 2011 but failed to appear and was tracked down in the Republic of Ireland.

She was arrested by the Garda on January 8, 2012, was returned to the UK in November last year and remanded in custody until her trial began in May.

Speaking after Doyle’s sentencing, investigating officer, retired PC Steve Roebuck, said:
This has been a long and complex inquiry to bring this prolific offender who has been offending for more than 20 years to justice. This sentence sends out a strong message that someone who is prepared to fraudulently use the identities of those they are not entitled to do so for financial gain will be pursued by police. This sentence reflects the severity of her offending, which affected many innocent peoples’ lives, for whom we hope they can now get some closure on what has been, in some cases, many years of financial suffering at the hands of Doyle.
Note she was arrested in 2009. Even allowing for the delay caused by her absconding, the whole process took several years.

More background here.

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