Mother puts kids through medical hell in country’s biggest ever benefit fraud

Experienced doctors were fooled by the decade-long scam

mother benefit fraud

by Cate Sutherland |
Published on

A 49-year-old mother has been jailed for the country’s most appalling benefit fraud that put her two young children through dangerous and unnecessary medical procedures.

The woman from Croydon, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to seven and half years for tricking doctors into believing her kids were seriously ill.

Over the past decade, she convinced doctors that her son and daughter suffered from problems including autism, asthma and gastric conditions.

mother benefit fraud

She amassed a whopping £375,000 in benefit payments over a decade in which her kids underwent a series of horrific operations.

Prosecutor Andrew Evans said she "lied at every opportunity" to use her kids as benefit bait.

He said: "The degree of financial loss... makes this case one of the largest benefits overpayments attributable to a single claimant which the Department for Work and Pensions has recorded."

Both kids had gastronomy tubes fitted and were force fed despite being able to eat naturally. They were also banned from playing sports at school.

Her son had 20% of his stomach capacity reduced in an irreversible operation and was kept in nappies until he was eight.

mother benefit fraud

Judge Elizabeth Smaller said: "Most people seek nothing but pleasure from their children and most people wish their children most of all good health.

"They [medical professionals] believed you because you were extremely plausible in your presentation, often anxious and tearful in their clinics."

The judge noted the experienced specialists ignored the concerns of a GP who raised alarm bells about the woman’s history. Despite sending formal letters of warning, Dr. Hart’s suspicions didn’t produce a single follow-up.

The children have since been placed in foster care and will hopefully enjoy a healthy and trouble-free future.

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