Being a benefits cheat might seem like a faceless crime to some, where there is no real victim because it's not money belonging to a person it's money belonging to the 'state', writes Jules Crouch. (h/t Dave)
But nothing could be further from the truth because for every penny stolen from the public purse, we all suffer. It's our money and you may as well be stealing it from a pensioner's purse or a a baby's hand.
Payments such as housing and unemployment benefit should only go to those who truly need it and would otherwise not get by. These are the hard working normal people who have fallen on hard times then it is right and proper that they are given a hand by the state until they get back on their feet.
Few people would resent the state stepping into the help out in this situation. But there are some people who think that they can plunder what is the taxpayers' money and use it for their own ends by wilfully claiming what they are not entitled to, and when they do not deserve it.
This was the case with 28-year-old benefits cheat Ellie Clulow, of Barton under Needwood, who stole more than £46,000 after failing to admit she was living with her partner. She has appeared at Stafford Crown Court where she pleaded guilty to six charges of fleecing the taxpayer out of a total £46,455.
This is a shocking amount of money to have conned the country out of. It's inconceivable that Ellie Clulow did not know she was breaking the law.
It was a light sentence. She was made the subject of a six-month jail sentence suspended for two years, and will be the subject of a four-month curfew, must do 120 hours unpaid work and pay a £100 victim surcharge.