£18,000 Doncaster benefits cheat locked up

Courts: News, reaction and more.
Courts: News, reaction and more.
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A BENEFITS cheat who claimed more than £18,000 in payments to which she wasn’t entitled has been locked up for three months.

June Bailey, aged 23, of Hyperion Way, New Rossington, Doncaster, failed to tell officials she was living with her partner - the father of her youngest two children. She claimed income support, council tax and housing benefit to the tune of £18,096.52, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Laura Marshall, prosecuting, said Bailey applied for benefits in 2005 but at the time she was living with her partner, Neil Walmsley, dad to her two youngest children.

She said: “There were loan applications where both had cited each other as living at the address and the property was registered to Mr Walmsley.”

Bailey was found guilty of two counts of benefit fraud after a trial at Doncaster Crown Court.

Heidi Cotton, defending Bailey at her sentencing hearing, said she still denied the matters.

She said Bailey had health problems and had been diagnosed with coeliac disease.

She also said her relationship with Mr Walmsley had now broken down and the couple had separated.

She added Mr Walmsley had been admitted to hospital because of concerns about his mental health.

Miss Cotton said Bailey had no convictions recorded against her.

Sentencing her to three months’ imprisonment, Judge Peter Kelson QC said: “I take account of your good character and the fact that you have three young children. I take account of the medical issues.

“But you were paid over £18,000 in income support, council tax and housing benefit, you stood your trial and, on the jury’s verdicts, you lied through your teeth.

“Normally I bend over backwards to give people of good character a chance to prove themselves, but I think I would be failing in my duty to the public if I did not send you to prison.

“Benefit fraud must be deterred and I am afraid you must go to prison.”