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3 Oct 2014

Benefit thief mother weeps but is still jailed

A Leicester mother of four wept as she was jailed for dishonestly claiming £115,000 worth of benefits she was not entitled to.

Tarah Staddon, 30, failed to notify the authorities she was living with two partners, at different times, who were in full-time work.

She admitted six counts of benefit fraud in relation to income support, jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit and council tax relief, between 2002 and 2012. She was jailed for nine months.

The prosecution said Staddon illegally claimed state benefit on the false basis she was a single parent with no income or partner. The offences spanned her two consecutive relationships with live-in partners, with whom she has children, aged between two years and 15.

In mitigation, Leicester Crown Court heard relatives were willing to care for the children if Staddon went to prison, but the youngsters would have to be split up during that time.

Judge Nicholas Dean said it was a “serious” case of benefit fraud, but said he was reducing the sentence to nine months because of her children.

Over a 10-year period, Staddon claimed housing benefit, council tax relief and income support.

After the case, a spokeswoman for the DWP said:
The case came to our attention in 2012 following a tip-off from a member of the public. Our investigators interviewed her and she made a full admission that she had claimed benefits she was not entitled to since 2002. Most people claiming benefits are honest, but there are some who abuse our welfare system and we will catch them.
For all the DWP's preening, they only found out about this long-lasting fraud through a tip off. And then it took them two years to get it to court.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A 'single' parent has 4 children but its only after a tip off that the partners come to light.

Why not do a few checks when a 'single' parent has a baby and applies for Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits?

Based on the people I know and the claims I have dealt with, I would estimate that half of single parents are not single. Just an estimate, I could be wrong and its, say, 25%.