Sheffield couple forced child to wear nappies and deliberately wet herself in £57k benefit scam
A couple recieved over £57,000 in illegal benefits after they falsely claimed their children suffered with health and behavioural difficulties.
Sheffield Crown Court heard on March 29 how Edward Gajdos, aged 37, of Willoughby Street, Grimesthorpe, Sheffield, and his wife Maria Horvothova, aged 35, illegally claimed disability allowance in respect of three of their four children and a carer’s allowance.
Katy Rafter, prosecuting, said: “This offence first came to light when the social worker told South Yorkshire Police the couple were forcing their children to behave in bizarre ways to fraudulently claim benefits.”
Miss Rafter added as a result of the fraudulent claim the defendants received £57,704.22 and prosecution papers outline the debt as £51,897.91 which is being repaid.
The defendants claimed a daughter was incontinent, according to Ms Rafter, and she had to wear nappies, was taken to the toilet regularly and deliberately wet herself when told to do so.
Ms Rafter said the defendants’ other children were wrongly presented as aggressive and disruptive.
Gajdos claimed he met a man who told the family they could gain benefits by pretending their children were poorly or behaving in a certain way and they paid this man £50 to help with paperwork.
Both defendants, who have no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to fraud after the offending between 2014 and 2017.
John Bottomley, defending, said Gajdos co-operated with the authorities and there has been no further trouble and he is ashamed.
Safter Salam, defending, said Horvothova, who lived at Wansfell Road, Grimesthorpe, in October, could not read or write in English and was directed to fill in forms and she too co-operated with authorities.
He added: “She and her partner were unable to find meaningful employment at that time and they seemed to have committed the offences on the advice of a friend.”
Mr Salam said the married couple moved to the UK in 2011 and their children joined them in 2012.
Recorder Michael Fanning said this kind of case would normally attract immediate imprisonment as a deterrent but the impact of removing the couple’s children would be too great.
He sentenced the couple to 20 months of custody suspended for two years with 150 hours of unpaid work.