24 Jul 2015

Lottery winner benefit thief played the system

A lottery winner has been jailed for two years for manipulating the court systems after falsely claiming state benefits.

She had claimed £107,000 in benefits for her ‘sick’ husband while not declaring her winnings of £120,000.

She had plastic surgery and bought a plasma TV while her husband went scuba diving in Cyprus and was an extra on Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

After serving 21 months in prison for the initial benefit fraud, Lesley Brogan from Edenthorpe, Doncaster then forged letters in an attempt to fight the confiscation of criminal proceedings order launched by prosecutors.

Sentencing her at Sheffield Crown Court, Judge Peter Kelson told her: ‘You are a manipulator of court systems to the nth degree. You have tried every single conceivable avenue of escape you could find for yourself.’

The court heard that she sent a fake letter to a Social Security Appeals Tribunal in March, 2013. The letter purporting to be from a Doncaster GP said that she was not well enough to attend.

Brogan launched a series of appeals against both the criminal conviction and the confiscation order which went as far as the Court of Appeal. She failed in all the appeals.

Speaking in defence, Derek Duffy said that she adopted a ‘siege mentality’ and had fought at ‘every possible opportunity’ until two months ago.

He said: ‘She has now been persuaded to drop this campaign against the Crown and everything connected with the benefits payments.’

Judge Kelson said she had provided ‘fictitious’ letters to the tribunal and the ‘genesis’ of the case was the criminal proceedings for the benefits fraud.

He told her: ‘You embarked upon a crusade and found every obstacle you could present to hinder the proceedings. You only stopped this crusade because you realised there was simply nowhere left to go.’

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