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SCROUNGERS GET 44K A YEAR - CASE NO1.
Unemployed scroungers Carl and Samantha Gillespie who have 12 children and live in a five bedroom house in Reading paid for by the local council. The family live off £44,000 a year in benefits and say they would earn LESS in work than on state handouts.
Neighbours reacted with outrage last night after an immigrant mother of ten who receives £34,000 a year in benefits demanded that the council gives her a larger home. Latvian Linda Kozlovska, 31, arrived in Britain with three of her children in 2008 and moved into a council-maintained three-bedroom house. Four years later, however, the single mother says she is unhappy living there – because she has had three more children and four others have moved over from Latvia. ‘I have ten children living here with me,’ she said. ‘I’m the only adult. I am on the council waiting list, but we’re still here. ‘They don’t have a big enough house. I want a bigger house. I don’t like it here. When we moved in it had bed bugs.’ Her neighbours are fuming. They say up to 18 people lived in the terraced home at one point, creating mess outside. One claimed the property was, essentially, a ‘halfway house’ for Latvians when they first arrive in the country. Another neighbour, Neil Blanchard, 39, said: ‘This kind of thing is beyond belief. If they want a bigger house they should have to earn it like everybody else.
Take, for example, Iona Heaton, a mother of nine from Blackburn, whose story was revealed in Febuary 2012. Mrs Heaton might be a poster-girl for everything that is wrong with the current welfare system. Every year she receives almost £30,000 in benefits. By comparison, the average salary in Britain last year was just £26,000. Her council house has a flat-screen TV, a computer, a Nintendo Wii, a digital camera and iPhone, and she takes her family to Pontins for two weeks every year. Yet she feels hard done by: the council, she says, should give her a bigger home.
A family of twelve who rejected a string of council houses have finally got their dream home - an eight-bedroom house courtesy of the taxpayer. Donna Harrison, 35, and Fabian Bland, 43, had been squashed into a terraced house in Bradford with ten children aged between two and 15.
The family turned down several four-bedroom houses offered to them by their social landlord because they had set their heart on a former children’s home. Both parents are unemployed, so their £133-a-week rent is paid through housing benefit. Donna and Fabian receive £500 per month in child benefits and child tax and £160 per fortnight for Jobseeker's Allowance, and their rent in housing benefit.
A drummer in a marching band who claimed he could walk no more than 15 yards and couldn’t even tie his own shoelaces has been exposed as a benefits cheat, after investigators secretly filmed him marching through the streets. Alexander Clarkson was caught marching through Great Harwood in Lancashire in full Scottish pipe band regalia and kilt. At the same time, the 63-year-old was receiving thousands of pounds every year by claiming he could walk only short distances and was always falling over because of his disabilities.
A mother has escaped jail despite pretending she had eight children in a £42,000 benefits scam.
Sarah Jane Smith, 41, even pretended that she and her two real children were disabled so that she could claim even more cash. Yes despite the false claims, stretching back to 2005, Smith, from Manchester, was spared jail after the judge heard she was fighting breast cancer for the second time. Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court was told that it was the second time Smith had carried out the scam. She had previously cheated taxpayers out of £27,854 in a four-year scam which began in 2005.
A mother-of-six who was jailed yesterday for claiming more than £96,000 in benefits while she had an 'eye-watering' £173,000 in the bank was following a traveller tradition, a court heard. Helen Ryan, 40, from Cardiff, pleaded guilty to the fraud at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday and was jailed for 24 weeks. Over a 10-year period, the out-of-work traveller had claimed around £88,000 in income support and £8,000 in council tax benefits.
Britain's most feckless father is today expected to see the birth of his 16th child by 14 different women, with another one on the way in a matter of weeks. Unemployed Jamie Cumming and his new girlfriend were expecting the baby to arrive on Friday, but the teenage mother-to-be was sent home from hospital the following day after doctors found she was having a ‘slow labour’. Cumming, 34, from Dundee, has already fathered 15 children with 13 different mothers, and is expecting a further child with another woman in January.
A benefits claimant whose partner is expecting her 12th child boasted today that they 'have enough for a football team'. Out-of-work Gary Bateman, 46, and Joanne Shepherd, 36, have been moved into a free five-bedroom house in which to raise their brood. The £1,200-a-month rent on their home is covered by the more than £30,000 a year they claim from the taxpayer.
An illegal immigrant who claimed to be paralysed from the neck down but was filmed dancing at his wedding cheated more than £400,000 in benefits, a court heard yesterday. But even though Mohamed Bouzalim, 37, has admitted dishonestly entering the country and fraudulently exploiting the welfare system, legal sources said they will face an ‘uphill battle’ to deport him. There is a strong likelihood the Moroccan will be able to remain in the UK by claiming he has a right to family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights,immigration sources said. When Bouzalim came to Britain in June 2001, he had no papers and claimed to be an Afghan national whose father had been executed by the Taliban, Isleworth Crown Court in west London was told. Using the name Mohamed Amir Hussini, he successfully claimed asylum before constructing the extraordinary lie that he was paralysed and required 24-hour care, receiving £66,000 a year in benefits. Other members of his family have also been convicted of fraud and live in the UK.
An overweight benefit cheat who was too fat to fit in a court will not be forced to wear an electronic tag because it will not fit round her ankle. Clinically obese Beverley Douglas, 44, had jobs as a CCTV operator and a bus driver which earned her a salary of around £16,000 but she carried on raking in handouts for five years.The former businesswoman also faked tenancy agreements to pocket rent on two properties she never lived in. Douglas, a mother of four, collected £34,000 in benefits, the court heard.
Bentleys, 42ft yachts and restored farmhouses in France are not generally considered to be the hallmarks of life on benefits in Britain today.
Yet BBC Panorama has tracked down claimants leading double lives. One man claims benefits for his rent on a council flat in Croydon yet was discovered living in Devon and running a village pub - commuting between the two in a Bentley. Another man, claiming incapacity benefit for a bad back, told an undercover reporter about his trans-Atlantic sailing trip from South Carolina to the Azores on his yacht and his work in restoring a farmhouse in Normandy. Experts estimate that £4bn of taxpayers' money is being lost to benefit fraud, tax credit fraud and social housing scams in the UK each year. Overall, government is losing an estimated £22bn to fraud and error across all departments. The man with the yacht and the French farmhouse is Graham Axford, 57, who has been on incapacity benefit since 1996 after he injured his back in a motorcycle accident. Because of that he has also been getting benefits that cover most of his rent and council tax on his council flat.
A mother of nine claimed almost £63,000 in benefits by pretending she was single despite living with her husband in their caravan.
Chavelle Price, 33, told the council she lived alone on a travellers’ site which featured on the Channel 4 series My Big Fat Gipsy Wedding last year.
But investigators discovered she was actually living with her husband Patrick Dunne on the Coven Heath site, near Wolverhampton.
She originally told the Department for Work and Pensions that she was living in her parents’ caravan after separating from her husband in 1997.
However, all of her children, born between 1997 and 2008, had Mr Dunne listed as the father on their birth certificates.
A mother claimed £100,000 in benefits by pretending her young son was suffering from cancer, a court heard today.
She even convinced the boy himself that he had the disease, and shaved his head to make it look like he was undergoing chemotherapy, it is alleged.
The woman, who is from Berkeley, Gloucestershire, removed the hair from his eyebrows and made him wear a bandana as part of the deception, a hearing was told.
It is claimed she then pocketed cash from a carers’ allowance, tax exemptions and disability benefits.
The court heard that the mother of five, aged 36, who cannot be named for legal reasons, forged medical notes from doctors for her fraudulent claims.
She is accused of preventing the boy and his sister from taking part in school activities as they thought they were too unwell.
A family of refugees has moved into a £2million home in one of the country’s most exclusive neighbourhoods at taxpayers’ expense.
Unemployed Saeed Khaliif is being handed almost £8,000 a month to pay the rent on his house, one of the most expensive ever to be funded by housing benefit.
The Somali refugee, 49, demanded to be moved to the six-bedroom property in West Hampstead, North-West London, with his wife Sayida and their children after deciding their previous accommodation was inadequate.
SEVEN CHILDREN BY FOUR WOMEN AND PROUD TO BE JOBLESS.
Although he has six young children and another on the way, the burden of parenthood does not lie too heavily on Steven Clark's shoulders. He is 35 and has been jobless since leaving school. He has had plenty of time to have children with three different women who are also all unemployed and on welfare. The total cost to the taxpayer of his actions are 753.90 pounds per week. This figure excludes the extra housing required.
A deported Nigerian conman with 131 different identities sneaked back into Britain to carry out a £1million crime, a court heard yesterday. The man, who calls himself David Peters, was jailed for fraud and deported to Nigeria seven years ago. But six months later he took advantage of flaws in the immigration system, returning under a different name and was promptly being granted UK citizenship. Peters, one of Britain's most prolific identity fraudsters, used the identities to trick banks, mortgage lenders and government agencies into giving him money. The 30-year-old used it to fund a luxurious lifestyle, buying an £80,000 Porsche Carrera, a Mercedes and a Lexus. When police caught up with him, they found a large collection of designer shoes, expensive watches and a state-of-the-art home entertainment system at his £300,000 three-bedroom home in north-west London. Yesterday Peters was jailed for five years and eight months at the Old Bailey after admitting 30 offences. He pleaded guilty to charges of fraud amounting to £230,000 but detectives believe he could have netted at least £1million.Passing sentence, Judge Gerald Gordon said: 'I have not the slightest idea what your actual name is but, whoever you are, some of the counts paint an appalling picture.'
The judge said Peters had used false documents to obtain money and benefits 'on a vast scale using a huge number of false identities'. Peters was jailed in April 2004 for fraud and deported in July under the name of Goke Adeyemi. He returned in December 2004 and was given UK citizenship under the name of Oluesyi Adebayo. This could not happen now because deportees are fingerprinted.
Police think he may have netted as much as £1million during throughout his frauds
Police think he may have netted as much as £1million during throughout his frauds
Peters used fake passports, driving licences and National Insurance numbers to create false identities. He then fraudulently applied for £168,575 in benefits from three London councils, claiming to be tenant and landlord at the same address. He obtained a £250,000 mortgage for a house in Edgware, north-west London, which he shared with his wife and two children. He successfully applied for 74 UK driving licences under false names at post offices across the country.
A jobless mother of six already living on handouts invented 15 more children to claim more than £60,000 in a benefits fraud.
Her brazen operation was rumbled only when investigators realised she had made claims for ten new 'foster children' in just six months.
Kerry Melia, 30, was already legitimately claiming tax credits for her children when she submitted the false claims for non-existent youngsters.
She was able to get away with it because no one from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, who run the system, checked whether the children existed.
The greedy mother was jailed for eight months yesterday after a court heard she had continued to submit claims for a further five 'foster children' even though she was under investigation.
A mother from Camden is living in Britain's most expensive council house worth £2million, it emerged today. Ruth Ben-Adir, 44, is being housed in the historic Victorian lodge which sits on the edge of a 29-acre estate in Highgate Village.
The mother-of-one moved into the Grade II-listed building while repairs are being carried out on her council home in Kentish Town. The lodge is situated in Waterlow Park and is close to homes belonging to personalities such as George Michael and Sting, as well as Government minister Tessa Jowell.
A council chief who retired on a gold-plated £50,000-a-year pension on the grounds of ill-health walked into a new publicly funded £260,000 job four months later.
Yet despite sparking a fresh row over extravagant town hall salaries, Nick Johnson – who earns more than twice as much as the Prime Minister – insists his pay packet is ‘really not a lot’. Mr Johnson, 57, is eligible for the full income from his final salary pension scheme because he left his £203,000 job as chief executive of Bexley Council in South London on health grounds.
A MILLIONAIRE benefits cheat who claimed almost £37,000 in handouts walked free from court yesterday – so she could care for her mother, who is also accused of fiddling. Aunsya Parmar, 51, her mother and two brothers owned at least 10 houses worth more than £1million. But for seven years she failed to declare her interests in the properties and continued to beg for help from the state. When police raided one of her houses, they found carrier bags stuffed with banknotes worth more than £110,000.
Officials expected her to get a jail term but her 24-week sentence was suspended for two years, and she was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work. Parmar and her relatives were to have faced Leeds Crown Court together for allegedly collectively claiming £98,000 to which they were not entitled. But her elderly mother Umiya was deemed too unwell and her two brothers died before the case came to court. Another hearing will be held to determine who owned the banknotes found in bags at the home of Parmar’s mother. The cash could be used to reimburse public funds. Parmar pleaded guilty to fraudulently claiming income support, council tax and housing benefit.
A BENEFITS cheat who ripped off nearly £50,000 has got 106 YEARS to pay it back.
Lee-Anne Jennings, 42, was ordered to settle her debt at just £9 a week. The mother of three raked in the cash over five years by not telling authorities her husband had moved back in with her. Her scam was rumbled after Department for Work and Pensions investigators received an anonymous tip-off. They found that a car outside Jennings's house in Southampton was registered to husband Roy - who took home £300 a week as a lorry driver and later worked for ship repairers. Jennings claimed income support legally after Roy left her in 2000, Southampton Crown Court was told.
But she did not own up when they were reconciled four years later.
A mother who claimed thousands of pounds in benefits despite her husband earning £130,000-a-year has walked free from court. Lisa Spindler, 40, raked in £22,500 in benefits as she claimed to be a single mother struggling to make ends meet. But she was in fact living with her high earning husband who made £130,000 a year.
Spindler admitted fraudulently claiming benefits for three years between 2006 and 2009 and was handed a suspended prison sentence at Basildon Crown Court in Essex.
A FRAUDSTER from Hornsey who rented luxury cars to gang members while claiming £60,000 in benefits has been jailed. Tyrone Somerszaul, of Kings Gate Mews, used three different alter egos — Tyrone Simmons, Dean Miller and Sean Kimani Taylor — to collect a fleet of high end cars including a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Rolls Royce, and Aston Martin. He then leased the cars to other criminals with a "no questions asked" policy.
His bogus firm helped him live a lavish lifestyle propped up by a long-running fraudulent claim for incapacity benefit using one of his aliases.
A BENEFITS scrounger with 10 children who claims £30,000. a year from the state was condemned by his own daughter yesterday. Jessica Bateman, 18, said she was ashamed of her “lazy, useless” father and branded him “nothing more than a sperm donor”. She was angered after hearing how father Gary, 46, and his partner – who is pregnant with her 12th child – were given a £300,000 five-bedroom house by council officials because he complained their old home was too small.
Shopworker Jessica, who is from a previous relationship of her father, has had little contact with him after he walked out on her mother when she was five. But she has learned that he spends up to £60 a time in fast-food restaurants while his council house is kitted out with the latest gadgets and flat-screen TVs.
A LAYABOUT dad bragged yesterday about the prospect of becoming Britain's youngest grandad.The scrounger, 29, said he was chuffed his 14-year-old daughter was pregnant and crowed: "It's quite mad... I'm about to be a grandad. "I was 14 when my daughter was born - and now she's having a baby." The schoolgirl became pregnant by her 15-year-old boyfriend and is expected to give birth in August.
The pair, from South Wales, are pupils at the same comprehensive school and have been dating for several months. She announced her news to pals on Facebook by updating her status to "looking for a pram with the mr". Her jobless dad - who is separated from her mum - said proudly: "She is very young but was determined to keep the child. "We were not going to force her into doing anything else. We don't want her to hate us. "She is not the only girl at her school to become pregnant or to have a baby.
A jobless family of 11 on £42,000-a-year in benefits were handed a new £300,000 seven-bedroom house just three doors down from their old 'cramped' house.
Kevin and Sharron Bishop receive £3,500 of taxpayer's money every month for themselves and their nine children. They had been living in a four-bedroom property but this weekend their neighbours watched in disbelief as the family carted their all belongings a few yards down the road to the new house.
A FECKLESS layabout has fathered eight children by eight different mothers – with two more on the way. Jobless Keith Macdonald sparked outrage last night after it emerged that he does not see any of his children and does not give any money to their mothers, meaning taxpayers will have to foot the massive £2million benefits bill.
In a damning example of Shameless Britain, Macdonald, whose ninth and tenth babies are due next year, whinged: “Why should I pay a penny for them?” Just £5 a week is deducted from his incapacity benefit, which he claims for a bad back, to go towards the children’s upkeep. Last night critics condemned 25-year-old Macdonald, who has been branded the “Incapacity Casanova”.Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers will be furious that their money is being spent supporting one man to have so many children, with so many different women, without any apparent attempt to provide for them himself.
With ten children and a rent-free house, Pete and Sam Smith are just one of the families who will be hit by a crackdown on limitless handouts. The couple, both unemployed, rake in £95,000 a year - and even have breakfast delivered to the door each morning, courtesy of the taxpayer. Last month it emerged that the Smiths had been moved by the local authority from a house in Bath, which the landlord accused them of wrecking, to the large house in the Bristol suburb of Kingswood. But Mrs Smith, 36, complained that the house was too small, the breakfast portions too stingy and said she could afford to buy her brood only one Nintendo Wii games console between them. She claims she is also forced to pay £100 a week to keep her five cats in a cattery. 'It's very cramped here,' she told the News of the World. 'We've been told we might not be given a new house for another nine months, which is ridiculous. 'The breakfast supplied by the council isn't like proper hot food. It's usually eggs, beans, tinned tomatoes and cereal, which isn't really enough for us all and we have to heat it up ourselves.' The couple have not worked since Mr Smith, 40, resigned from the Army in 2001 to care for his wife, who has curvature of the spine, and their children.
At that time they had three. Mrs Smith receives up to £140-a-week child benefits for her children aged from four months to 14 years. The family also get disability living allowance, carer's allowance, tax credits and income support. The total with child benefits is £44,954. They then receive a £950-aweek bed-and-breakfast deal where the council pays for breakfasts delivered to their home, which comes to £49,400 – a total of £94,354 a year.
I need £60,000 a year to beat benefits': Mother with four bedroom
home on the state says work doesn't pay.
She lives in a four-bedroom townhouse on a new estate, with an £18,000 Mazda in the drive and a 42in high definition plasma television in the living room.
Kellie Cottam’s lifestyle may hint at hard work and success. But the Sky+ satellite, games consoles and toys scattered on the floor were all amassed not from long hours in the office, but through the £37,000 a year – tax free – she rakes in through benefits. The single mother-of-four yesterday described the welfare system as her ‘breadwinner’ and said she would need to earn an annual salary of £60,000 to make it worth her while to work and maintain her lifestyle.
Father of 11 quits his £27,000 a year job to make more on benefits.
A teacher has given up work to stay at home with his wife and 11 children because he is better off living on benefits. The large part of his income is now job seekers allowance - even though he quit his job. In all Salim receives £29,096 a year in handouts for doing nothing and is planning to have a 12th child.
The family receive £19,000 a year job seekers allowance even though Salim is not looking for one. They get £6,600 child benefit, £2,496 in free school meals and £1000 council tax relief. Salim married his cousin Noreen who has never worked since marrying Salim. Salim said "this is what is great about Britain, in Pakistan the government does not look after you".
Neighbours of a jobless family put up in a £2.1million townhouse courtesy of the taxpayer last night called for them to be evicted. They said it was a 'disgrace' that former bus conductor Abdi Nur, his wife and seven children could claim £2,000 a week in housing benefit to live in one of London's more exclusive neighbourhoods.
The family had previously been satisfied living in a smart five-bedroom house in Brent, North-West London, at a cost of £900 a week in benefits. But last month, Mr Nur spotted a vacancy in nearby Notting Hill in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and was given permission by the council to upgrade. Mr Nur, 42, and his wife Sayruq, 40,sought asylum in Britain in 1999 from Somalia, where he worked for the Red Cross. He has worked in Britain as a bus conductor, but lost his job 18 months ago, and is now looking for jobs in 'warehouses or food production'. The Nurs' new house is owned by a company based in the British Virgin Islands. The average full-time wage in Britain is about £26,000. Some- one on such a salary pays about £4,000 a year in income tax. So it takes the entire income tax contributions of 25 people just to fund the rent of the Nur family. If the British Left cannot see that spending tax receipts in this way is morally indefensible and economically unsustainable there is no hope for it. Under the loony system, the Nurs are FOUR TIMES better off claiming benefits than working. The average salary of an experienced London bus conductor is £16,000 a year. Top that up with child benefit and they would receive a yearly income of £25,440. But with job-seekers' allowance and £96,000 benefits paying for the house, the family rake in £110,424 a year.
A scrounging family-of-12 who rake in a staggering £95,000 year in benefits have been re-homed in a £1,000-a-week four-bedroom house - after trashing the last one.
Jobless Sam, 36, and Pete Smith, 40, have been given the new house in Bristol to house their brood. The family were kicked out of their previous four-bedroom home in picturesque Bath after a £20,000 wrecking spree left it unfit for human habitation.
It was left in such a foul state that children's mattresses and walls were stained with human and animal excrement, floors were mouldy and rat droppings littered the floor.
But instead of being reprimanded, the couple were housed in a four-bedroom house in nearby Bristol - which they have already set about trashing.
LUXURY LIFE ON THE DOLE.
A jobless couple lived in luxury in a council house palace while claiming state benefits. Mother of six Janis Gabriel had a private swimming pool, sauna and conservatory despite being out of work, jurors were told. They had a four poster waterbed and corner spa bath. The living room had a home cinema projector and also a plasma TV. The garage had electric doors filled with two cars, a scooter and expensive bicycles. Gabriel netted £384 a week in state benefits, paying no rent or council tax. They banked income support, child benefit, carer's allowance and mobility care allowance because Mr Gabriel is registered disabled. Each room had TV's and stereos. Police found £18,450 in cash in the house and another £21,000 was in one of the three bank accounts. The house was protected by a CCTV system. Janis Gabriel , whose family claimed more than £26,000 a year in benefits said she could afford a life of luxury because of the handouts. She has been charged with laundering money.
A man who invented 16 children to claim £75,000 in benefit payments was
David Wilshaw, 58, and his partner Nancy Stevenson, 59, took the money after
he fabricated a huge family over a four-year period. The idea for the fraud was born after the pair applied for tax credits for
two of Stevenson's children and realised that nobody asked to see birth certificates
or any other proof of their existence. David Wilshaw and Nancy Stevenson: He bragged of doing a public service Wilshaw
then went on to make up the names of 16 children, pocketing more than £400
Bristol Crown Court heard Wilshaw spent more than that amount every week in betting shops, while Stevenson admitted drinking two bottles of brandy a day. When he was finally arrested, Wilshaw bragged that he was "doing a public service" by exposing the loophole in the benefits system. Yesterday he was sentenced to 20 months in prison after admitting fraud, handling stolen goods and obtaining property by deception.
Stevenson avoided jail after it was said she had played a "lesser role" and that Wilshaw had transferred just £9,000 of the money into her account. She admitted one charge of money laundering and a further charge of tax credit fraud and was given a 12-month supervised community order. The court heard that Wilshaw, who received £113-a-week income support, hatched the plot after claiming child tax credits for his partner's children, neither of whom was living at the couple's home in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.
Posing proudly before his own yacht in the harbour of a Mediterranean resort, John Watkinson appears the epitome of a successful and affluent businessman.
With an offshore account in Jersey and villas in Spain and Turkey, the company
director and his wife enjoyed a millionaire lifestyle. But for more than a decade Watkinson, 69, pleaded poverty and told officials
he had just £20 to his name.
John Watkinson and his wife in front of their yacht in Turkey. He claimed £118,000 in benefits while declaring he had just £20 in the bank. Over a 13-year period he claimed almost £120,000 in housing and council tax benefit, income support and pension credits. Yesterday he was behind bars after being jailed for two years when his benefits scam was uncovered by investigators. Liverpool Crown Court heard Watkinson pretended he was out of work and needed benefits to pay for his rented accommodation. But in reality he had secretly set up a firm in Gibraltar to act as a front for all his dealings. And three upmarket homes for which he claimed rent were actually wholly-owned by his company, Brooklyn Holdings Ltd. Over the years Watkinson used this company to buy a series of top-of-the-range boats and luxury villas in Marbella and Turkey. He also splashed out on a £42,000 luxury yacht named Phil-A-Me after his 51-year-old wife Philamena. David McLachlan, prosecuting, told the court that Watkinson fraudulently claimed more than £118,000 in housing and council tax benefit, income support and pension credits between April 1995 and August 2008.
During the fraud he claimed he lived in rented homes in the villages of Heswall, Noctorum, and Oxton in the Wirral, when he actually owned them all. All the properties were bought and then sold by Brooklyn Holdings Ltd which left him free to pocket the housing benefit.
BENEFIT FAMILY GET OVER £37,000 A YEAR.
A jobless couple who appeared on the reality TV show Wife Swap get £37,400 a year in State handouts - while the working couple they exchanged lifestyles earn £10,000 a year less. Neither Lizzie nor Mark Bardsley, who have eight young children, has worked full time for more than six years. Instead they receive thousands of pounds in child benefit , income support, and disability and incapacity allowance per month. Although they own their three-bedroom house, most of their small mortgage is also paid by the state, costing the taxpayer another £1,322 per year. Mrs Bardsley worked until she was 19 but has not worked for 11 years. She and her husband spend £140 a week on cigarettes and another £70 on bingo. Mrs Bardsley said " We are not defrauding the system we are entitled to it, there are loads of asylum seekers getting more than us, so why shouldn't we get what is rightly ours?" "£37,000 sounds a lot but it is only £3,700 per person per year".
THE BARDSLEYS' BENEFITS:-
Child benefit £4,747.60 per year. Carers allowance for Marky-Jay £5,691.40 per year he has chronic asthma (yet they still smoke around him).Income Support for Mrs Bardsley and children £13,710.84 per year.Incapacity benefit for Mr. Barsley who has had depression since his father died six years ago £4,446 per year.Disability living allowance for Marky-Jay £5,051.80Disability allowance for Vienna also a chronic asthmatic £3,754.40
TOTAL = £37,402.04 no wonder so many freeloaders think the UK is a wonderful country.
Sponger 'is a builder'
THE sponger star of TV’s Wife Swap was accused yesterday
of being a benefits cheat who moonlights as a handyman.
Mark Bardsley, 34, gets £37,402 a year in state handouts to look after his wife
Lizzie and their eight children.
But last night he was facing an investigation over allegations that he is a
Care worker Slawka Mitchell said she was stunned when she saw on the Channel 4 show that Bardsley claimed he lived off benefits. Slawka, 49, of Royton, Greater Manchester, said: “Mark was building a chimney for me around the time the programme was being filmed. “I remember someone from Channel 4 phoning him and he talked to me about it.” She added: “I was under the impression he did a lot of building work and he gave me some leaflets with his numbers on. I paid him in cash and he also offered to do some work for my neighbours.” She has reported Bardsley, of Milnrow, Greater Manchester, to the Department of Work and Pensions, who have promised a probe.Lizzy also cheats the system with a £20-a-week job as a telephonist for a local cab company. Neighbours want the couple to move out of town.
BENEFIT SYSTEM PUTS SPONGERS FIRST.
A 19 year old lay about who is set to become a father for the fifth time is refusing to get a job. Mike Blake and his wife have never worked in their lives, yet they can pocket state handouts of more than £1000 a month and live rent free in a three bedroom council house. Blake is fit and healthy but refuses to work.
What we think the Blakes are getting each month in welfare:-
Child Benefit for four sprogs = £215.Income support ( couples allowance = £87.30 per week, family premium = £15.95 per week plus dependent children allowance =£169.08 per week) gives a total of = £1,180. Council tax aid = £49. Jobseekers allowance = £382. Free rent on council house = £208. This gives them £2,034 free money per month and they have never paid a penny in taxes. What wage would they need to be on to get this amount?
When I was signed off work following an operation all I received was £60 per week statutory sick pay (and nothing more) ! Yet I have paid taxes and National Insurance all my life. I got no help with my service charges or mortgage or utility bills. Yet a non-worker in my same block of flats who is renting instead of buying gets his full rent paid ( this includes service charges and utility bills within the amount ) plus income support provided by the welfare system. It is one rule for taxpayers and another for spongers.
Meet the McGrawleys a vision of family life in the 21st century Britain. To them the welfare state is their personal cash point. The more babies they can produce the less work they need to do and more money rolls in their free council house. If anybody in their house actually had a job they would need to earn £30,000 a year to equal what they get in handouts.
What they get in benefits:-income support £378.30 monthly. free council house and rent paid as well. Disability premium £146.68 monthly.Child tax credits £721.93 monthly.Child benefit for Lizzy and Charlene £71.50 monthly each.Housing benefit for 3 bedroom council house £228.76 per month.Total = £21,700 per annum cash in hand.
Their magnificent townhouse overlooks a courtyard and is in one of the most expensive areas of London. It has four storeys, six bedrooms (some with balconies), three sitting rooms and four bathrooms - as well as a concierge service. The property is worth a cool £1.8 million and would cost you or me nearly £1,600 a week to rent.So who do you think lives here. Is it: (a) a banker; (b) an MP fiddling expenses; or (c) an unemployed former asylum seeker and her family? The last answer is the correct one.
In other words, taxpayers are picking up the £6,400-a-month bill to keep Nasra Warsame, seven of her brood and her elderly mother in the lap of luxury. Mrs Warsame's husband and their eighth child, by the way, have been provided with a two-bedroom council flat nearby. His wife's palatial residence isn't big enough, apparently, to accommodate them all. So how is Mrs Warsame enjoying her publicly-funded mansion? There was no response when we 'buzzed' her state-of-the art video intercom which allows her to screen visitors. No one could blame her for keeping a low profile (if that's possible in such a grand home), considering that her case, among others, prompted the Government's announcement this week that benefit rules are to be changed. For the Warsames are one of a number of families enjoying life on Millionaires' Row, courtesy of our welfare state system. Let's take a quick tour. First stop, David Cameron's trendy neighbourhood of Notting Hill and a £2.6million villa with wooden floors, granite work tops and roof terrace - home to single mother-of-eight Francesca Walker. Francesca, whose mother is Jamaican, spent many years in a succession of council flats, which she claimed were virtually uninhabitable. As a result, the council was forced to consider her as 'technically homeless'. Francesca Walker council house. Unfair: 800 households in Westminster qualify for £500-a-week housing allowance, at a cost of £27.3million. Her eight children are fathered by two different men and she was housed in a privately-owned villa because the council had no suitable accommodation of its own. Next is a detached, double-fronted £1.2million house in Acton, West London, with three shower rooms and 'accessories' including a 50-in plasma TV, laptops, Wii, iPhone and PlayStation - home to the seven-strong Saiedi family from Afghanistan. Then there is the £1million mock-Tudor property, comprising two sitting rooms, conservatory and double garage, in Edgware (home to single mother-of-five Omowunmi Odia), and another £1million property in Barnet (home to the Connors, a family of Irish travellers). In fact, 16 families are living in million-pound-plus London properties funded by the controversial Local Housing Allowance, which allows people to rent from private landlords and hand the bill to the state. These examples alone cost us £2.4million a year - enough to put at least 100 extra police officers on the streets of the capital. But this isn't the real story, or not all of the story, anyway. It gets even worse. Work and Pensions Secretary Yvette Cooper insists 'very high rents' represent only a 'small proportion' of overall housing allowance claims. Well, that depends on how you define 'very high'. Does £1,000-a-week fall into this category? Around 100 households, mostly in London, now receive this amount via their local authority. How many families can afford monthly mortgage repayments of £4,000? The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it could not provide us with figures for those claiming £500 a week without receiving a Freedom of Information request in writing, which means Christmas would have come and gone by the time we got an answer. But Tory-run Westminster Council, which has been left to pick up the flak over Mrs Warsame, was happy to oblige. Funnily enough, no Freedom of Information request was required. In fact, a staggering 800 households in the borough qualify for £500-a-week payments. Or, to put it another way, they are living in properties that, back in the real world, they would only be able to afford if they were earning between £70,000 and £80,000 a year. The average salary in this country, remember, is a little more than £20,000 a year. The annual bill for the 'Westminster 800'? A shameful £27.3 million. The statistics for other London boroughs are equally outrageous. Is there anyone - apart from the staff of The Guardian - who doesn't think this is a scandal; a two-fingered salute, metaphorically speaking, to every family in Britain which isn't milking the benefits system?
In fact the
couple have been given the keys without lifting a finger in work. The
Gillespie family: Karl , Samantha and their 12 children It has been revealed that the couple - neither of whom work and who receive
an astonishing £44,000 in benefits a year - have been housed in the £500,000
property by their local council.
County Council gave them the keys after their previous council home burnt down
in a blaze sparked by one of the couple's children.
was greeted with anger and incredulity by the couple's new neighbours, many
of whom have spent years working hard to struggle up the property ladder.
have been dubbed 'Britain's biggest scroungers' and are the most notorious example
of people taking advantage of our generous benefits system.
eight-bedroom house that the family have been given in Newbury. They receive
the equivalent of £44,000 a year in benefits, a figure made up of £1,500 a month
housing benefit; £1,200 a month child tax credit; £560 a month child benefits;
£280 job seeker's allowance and £1,600 a year in council tax.
Samantha, 35, had five children from a previous relationship when she married
Carl, who used to work as a door-to-door salesman. They are Craig, 16, Adam,
14, Jack, 13, Rebekah, 11, and Harry, nine.
The couple then
had seven of their own: twins Parris-Jordan and Kesla Blu, eight; twins Mason
and Peaches, six; Logan, four, and the three-year-old twins Skye and Kalifornya.
When asked why
they don't work, the couple say that looking after their children is a full
time job. And they claim they would earn less working than they do claiming
has revealed that he quit a job at stacking shelves at Asda before he had even
started, when he realised the £300 a week he would earn would result in a £400
He said: "Some
people may think we're a bunch of spongers, but it's not true." His wife
added: "I was born to have children, it's what I am here for."
MP, Labour's Martin Salter, has said "There is no excuse for any able-bodied
person to be long-term unemployed in Reading, where jobs are plentiful."People
who have large families should accept financial responsibility for that decision." Prior to their latest home, the Gillespies were housed in a five-bedroom property
in Purley-on-Thames, Berkshire. However, in June last year the property burnt down when one of the family's
youngest twins played with a cigarette lighter. Following that
they lived in temporary council accommodation and the children were ferried
to and from school in a minibus, paid for by the council. Their latest
home, formerly a hotel, is estimated to have cost £350,000 to buy and a further
£150,000 to renovate with double-glazing, carpets, central heating and furniture. Mr and Mrs Gillespie
claim that they want to go out to work but would lose more than they gain. The family said when they were offered an eight-bedroom £500,000 house from
the council they had no choice but to take it as previous accommodation had
been totally unsuitable.
neighbours said the family were the 'wrong sort' and shouldn't be there. Mr Gillespie, 34, said: "We're not scroungers and if it was economical
for me to work then I would do."We can just about survive on the money we've got but I can't give my kids
nice things that other parents could like days out, and if I were working I
could afford them."The last
job I had was in 2000 or 2001 when I was working at ASDA earning £300 to £350
a month."I did this for ten weeks and at that time my housing benefit was cut from
£1600 to £800 a month so it just didn't make sense for me to carry on working."
36, added: "All our kids are in school and they want to make something
of themselves and not just scrounge and live off the dole."My oldest
son Craig joined the army last week and we're doing our best to make sure the
others have careers as well.""If we were scroungers we'd be telling them to either have babies or get
straight on the dole, but we're not."
"Before we were offered this house we lived in a three-bedroom house which was temporary accommodation.""There were seven boys in one bedroom and five girls in another. In the boys bedroom we had three sets of bunk beds lined up next to each other and you could hardly move". The house itself is a three storey modern brick detached farmhouse style home in a quiet residential street in Newbury. It has its own gate and is set back from the road by a gravel driveway on which are a Fiat Bravo, a Ford Escort, two bicycles, a broken pushchair and a washing machine.
Giles, 80, said: "It's not right for them to be in there. I live with my
son and he's mortgaged up to his eyeballs so it's pretty stiff for him to see
them move into such a nice house." Another female
neighbour in her sixties, who declined to be named for fear of retribution,
said: "They're the wrong sort of people for round here.""Most people
on the street are elderly and I think there's only one other family in the vicinity,
but nowhere near as big as theirs."The general
mood is that they're not wanted." The family moved in on May 14th. Mrs Gillespie showed me her annual income support form which was £19,775.74
but this does not include housing benefit.
Paul and Samantha have eight children together and she has four from a previous relationship, making 12 in total. The children they have had together are Harry 10, Parris Jordan 8, Kesla 8, Mason 7, Peaches 7, Logan 5, Skye 3 and Californya 3.
Samantha's children from her previous relationship are Craig 17, Adam 16, Jack 14 and Rebekah 13. West Berkshire Council was unavailable for comment
A JUDGE has sparked fury after failing to imprison a benefits cheat who faked claims for nearly £40,000 – because of the cost of jailing him. Karmal Mustafa, a 29-year-old Somali, could have been locked up for three years and then deported after being caught taking state handouts for seven years despite having a job. But soft-touch Judge Carol Hagen – whose decisions have hit the headlines before – let him walk free, saying: “£39,000 is what it costs to keep one man in prison for a year. Do I wish to burden the state further, much as I think it is deserved?” News of the sentence – Mustafa was given just 250 hours community service – yesterday provoked a furious response from campaigners.
A BENEFITS cheat who swindled £57,405 from the taxpayer has been told she has 161 years to repay it. Mother-of-four Sandra Kelwick pocketed the money for more than five years, claiming income support, housing and council tax benefits by pretending she was single. The 50-year-old had moved her lover, who worked, into her home but failed to tell the authorities. A court told her to return the cash at a rate of £13.70 a fortnight, meaning she would have to live to 211 to repay her debt. But her solicitor said she may be told to pay back more if she can find a job. Last night Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This judgment will rightly anger people. It is yet another example of how taxpayers’ hard-earned cash subsidises some people’s comfortable lifestyle because of a wasteful, broken and unfair welfare system. “Someone has worked hard to earn every penny of the huge amount which has been pocketed, so we desperately need welfare reform to ensure work pays and cheats are actually punished.”
A Longwood man has admitted claiming more than £20,000 worth of benefits that he was not entitled to. Nadeem Akhtar, of Rufford Road, made claims for various benefits despite having more than £200,000 worth of savings. He faces sentencing by a crown court judge after his case was described as serious fraud by a Kirklees Council prosecutor. The 49-year-old pleaded guilty to four charges of dishonestly producing false information to claim housing and council tax benefits, jobseeker’s allowance and income-related employment support allowance
A benefits cheat, who claims she did not know her husband owned a £400,000-a-year restaurant, or that her parents owned the property she was claiming housing benefits for, was dragged screaming to jail. Johura Begum, 32, spent £130 a time at the hairdressers despite wearing a burka and splashed out on designer clothes and handbags, while claiming a car accident had made her unfit to work. She said her husband Mohammed Chowdhury was earning as little as £30 a week as a waiter, when in fact he owned the successful Spices Tandoori restaurant in Colchester. Begum was jailed for eight months after being found guilty of fiddling £82,000 and had to forcibly led to the cells by security officers at the Old Bailey. ‘Prison?’ she pleased. ‘I’ve got two children. Please let me speak to my lawyer.’ One of the officers told her: ‘You can speak to him in the cells,’ as she was pulled from the dock.
Tough new rules will end the scandal of more than £55million a year in handouts leaving Britain. Making clear his outrage at the system, David Cameron warned that if he could not strike a deal with other EU countries now he would seek to secure the change in his membership renegotiations. Benefits and tax credits claimed by European migrants for children who live in other countries cost the British taxpayer more than £1million a week, according to estimates. Campaigners calculate that UK child benefits worth £36.6million a year go to 40,000 children living overseas including non-EU Iceland and Norway, together with £18.6million of child tax credits. Two thirds of all child benefit sent abroad goes to Poland. The payout is £20.30 a week for the first child and £13.40 for others where neither parent earns more than £50,000 a year. Tackling the issue marks another front in Mr Cameron’s attempts to curb EU immigration by reducing the attractiveness of the British welfare system. Government efforts have intensified in a bid to allay public concern over migration curbs being lifted on Bulgarians and Romanians last week.
An unemployed father with nine children has said if he did not get his £32,000 a year in benefits he would be out robbing 'rich' people. Jobless Lee Miller, who has demanded a bigger council house for his enormous family, claims he would turn to petty crime because he has 'bills to pay'. The 40-year-old said he would travel to London and target the wealthy to provide for his children. He currently lives in what he says are 'cramped and appalling' conditions in a three-bedroom house in Bournemouth, Dorset, with his partner Natalie Cann, his five sons, four daughters and a pet python. Their 10th child is due in five months and they considering withholding £253 of taxpayers' money they contribute to their monthly rent if they are not rehoused. Mr Miller told the Daily Star he could get more financial support from the government but chooses not to. He said: 'I could get disability benefit and carers but I don't, that would make me a sponger, I don't want to be like that. 'But if I don't get nothing, then other people would have nothing because I would be robbing. 'I'd go to London and rob rich people.'
Mr Miller said the money would be for his children, who have a Nintendo Wii console, Playstation 3 and three televisions to keep them entertained. He claims he only has £60 left at the end of the week after food, gas, fuel and electricity. The jobless father has worked for just nine months in his entire adult life and had his Jobseeker's Allowance cut recently because he was not applying for enough jobs. But he said he recently began working as a vehicle recovery driver, investing in a £2,000 van. He claims he has emphysema which causes shortness of breath - although he regularly smokes roll-ups and is not registered as disabled.
He said: 'I'm objecting to paying towards the rent when we're living like this. I would be happy to pay if we had four bedrooms. 'And I don't want to be on benefits and claim it all. I'm quite happy to work. 'After I was diagnosed with emphysema I tried to get disability living allowance [but] was refused.
'I was advised to get off income support benefits and go onto jobseekers, but this meant I couldn't do the jobs they were suggesting like cleaning as my health was too bad. 'I am much better off working outside and I really like working with cars, so I asked about them helping me with some training or courses in that area. 'They said there was nothing they could do so I made a complaint, and to do that I had to sign off Jobseekers. 'Since then I've not signed back on and I am buying a van off a friend so I can work self-employed as a recovery driver.' Mr Miller said: 'I am dying to get into the job I want, even though no job will ever pay as much as what we get on benefits.' When the couple moved into their existing housing association home in Bournemouth, Dorset, eight years ago they already had daughter Ayesha, 13, and sons Danny, 12, and Jamie, 10, and Dean, now age nine, on the way. Despite being restricted on space, they went on to have Luke, seven, Leon, four, Karleigh, three, Mercedes, one, and Brooke, 10 months. The five boys share a room with three sleeping in the same bed and 13-year-old Ayesha, the oldest sibling, has to share her room with Mercedes and Karleigh. Miss Cann, 33, said: 'This place is too small. I've not had this many children purposefully to have a big house. We did not plan it. 'I was adopted and never had any brothers or sisters and Lee is from a big family. Some people might judge us but people can think what they like, I don't really care to be honest. 'I know what people think, they think we put ourselves in this situation. 'People admire the way we look after our children, they are always in school, they are always well dressed, I've never had a complaint. 'Lee really wants to work but he needs to do something outside because he has emphysema and it will help his lungs.' The couple receive £127 per week in Child Benefit and £482 per week in child tax credits, totalling £31,668 a year. They also currently receive a discretionary £200 monthly payment towards their housing association rent, though this is expected to end after six weeks. This means they presently pay £253 in rent themselves. Mr Miller and Miss Cann pay £30 per month in council tax.
A JOBLESS mother sparked new outrage last night as she and her 11 children got ready to move to a £500,000 home funded by the taxpayer. Shameless Heather Frost kicked up such a fuss about her "nightmare" living arrangements that she was gifted the custom-built six-bedroom house. The idyllic rural home which would cost hard-working families at least £1,500 a month to rent. Benefit scrounger Frost's eco-mansion was designed to reduce energy and water consumption and let in as much natural light as possible. A 1,850 sq ft modern, detached property that millions can only dream of occupying, it has three bathrooms, a large open plan kitchen-diner and two lounges with French windows. Outside there is plenty of room for her nine daughters and two sons in an normous garden backing on to open farmland in;Gloucestershire.;Tewkesbury Borough Council;solved;Frost's housing "crisis" by selling a plot of land to Severn Vale Housing Society on condition it built a six-bedroom home to meet her exacting needs. But news she is just weeks away from picking up the keys to her luxury home has angered hard-working locals. Sandi Ayres, who signed a petition to keep Frost in her current three-bedroom council home, said: "What's wrong with the property she was in? I cannot afford to have a child let alone 11. Why should taxpayers pay for their kids and homes? Life is hard enough." Jim Morrison, who lives near Frost's new home, said: "I can't believe she's had the gall to go ahead with it – but that just shows how unfair the Government is towards people who work hard." Frost, 37, first fell pregnant at the age of 14 to a 23-year-old boyfriend. She had her second child, Toby, with a different father when she was 17. Why was her boyfriend not prosecuted for having sex with a minor?
A jobless couple have been given a council 'super-home' for them and their ten children – at the taxpayers' expense. Tim Fisk, 43, and his pregnant girlfriend Mandy Ball will get a giant home with six bedrooms and two bathrooms when council bosses pay for two properties to be combined into one. The couple, who live on benefits, hope to move in with ten of their 12 children before their next child arrives in December. And despite outrage from neighbours, the defiant pair insist they are entitled to the new house and branded locals who have tried to block the scheme as 'jealous'. Mr Fisk said: 'If I wanted 50 children, that is my decision.
'Who has got the right to tell me what to do? Why should anyone stick their noses into other people's business? 'Getting this larger house is the right thing for us. We are really overcrowded at the moment.' The former fencing contractor and Miss Ball, 41, receive an estimated £40,000-a-year in benefits including child tax credits, disability living allowance, carer's allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit. Two of their children no longer live with them, but the other ten share the couple's three-bedroom council house in Ipswich, Suffolk. Eight youngsters share two bedrooms – sleeping four to a room in bunkbeds – while Mr Fisk and his girlfriend sleep in the living room with their 11-month-old baby Neatheus. Ipswich Borough Council has agreed to give the family the house next door and to pay for the two properties to be knocked together into one giant semi-detached home. Mr Fisk said he has not worked since 2008, when Miss Ball lost a baby, leaving her suffering from severe depression. He says he now cares for her and their son Daniel, 14, who is blind in one eye and has serious learning difficulties.
Although the father of 12 claims to struggle to cover household expenses, the family appear to own an array of hi-tech equipment including a widescreen Samsung television, a Sony DVD player, wireless internet, computer gadgetry and a pub-style fruit machine. Mr Fisk said: 'I have worked hard nearly all my life and paid a substantial amount of tax. 'What difference is it to anyone else, whether I am working or not working?'
Maggie Flisher, 26, and husband Gavin, 30, currently live in a cramped one-bedroom flat while claiming £27,000 in benefits. Mrs Flisher, who does not work as she is depressed, said the reason she has six children under the age of eight is because contraception is no match for her fertility.
She said: "I had contraception for all the children apart from my first one. "I had the needle, I took the pill, I had the implant and for the twins I was taking the pill and had an implant. "The doctor just said I was really fertile and they don't know what to do. "I am too young to get sterilised and Gavin tried using a condom as well." Mrs Flisher was working in telesales when she first moved into the one-bedroom council flat in Maidstone, Kent, 2003 by herself. The following year she married labourer Gavin and their eldest child Lacieann was born in 2005 - and the couple haven't worked since. She said: "My girls are literally always arguing because they want their own space and my son has a pink and yellow room. "Why can't they just give me a three bedroom? It would be a damned-sight better than this. "The four-bed homes are like gold dust. I've been told I'm a main priority but then they are given to someone else. "I reckon they should build more four bedroom houses because all the ones they have are full.
Don't cut my £32k benefits: Jobless mum of 7 says she CAN'T live on £2,000 a month welfare. A JOBLESS mother-of-seven sparked disbelief yesterday by complaining about a threat to her £2,647 monthly benefits under Government welfare caps. Single Clare Bache claimed the cash-saving reforms will leave "a dark cloud over us" when they knock about £600 off her monthly income. Ms Bache, 38, who gets nearly £32,000 a year in handouts, runs a car and lives in a six-bedroomed Victorian house at taxpayers' expense, said "the future is bleak". She admitted she has not had a job for 20 years and claims Wayne Bache, father of her six eldest, gives her "the odd fiver but that's it". She claimed her dilemma is not her fault and attacked Government proposals for forcing her to live on a mere £500 per week. But Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "The benefit cap should not create genuine hardship given that claimants can still get what an average working family takes home. "Working families have to make decisions based on what they can afford. There's no reason that should be different when taxpayers are picking up the bill."
A JOBLESS COUPLE have demanded that they and their seven children are moved to a bigger council house as they are being forced to cram themselves into a two bedroom house. David Stewart, 38, says he's been battling for the last five years for a bigger council house, in Alness, Easter Ross. He and his wife Lisa, 29, have seven children: Solomon, 6, Clementine, 5, Donald, 4, Katy-Anne, 3, twins Joshua and Sophie, 2, and baby April who is three months old. They say they are living like sardines - crammed into two bedrooms in their council house - and fear the cramped and chaotic living conditions could affect the health of his children. Four children share one of the rooms, while he and his wife share with the other three. David, his wife and family have three bedrooms in their council home on the Milnafua estate in Alness - but one of these has to be used as a storeroom. David is becoming increasingly frustrated and angry as he sees other people who have just come into the area being awarded tenancies while he is overlooked.
A MUM raked in £100,000 in benefits after claiming she was 'so fat she couldn't make herself a cup of tea'. Tracey Shellard, 49, ballooned to 28 stone and needed a mobility scooter to get around. But when she lost 19 stone over a three-year period, Shellard, of Wynthenshawe, Manchester, hid the results of her body makeover from the authorities. She was exposed after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) placed her under surveillance. Officers saw her carrying a 32-inch television and taking her dog for mile-long walks. Shellard also lied about living alone to claim income support, housing benefit, and council tax benefit between 2002 and 2011. The investigation found that she was living with her husband of 23 YEARS, who was in work and supporting her financially. The shamefaced mum admitted four charges of failing to notify of a change in circumstances - and was branded a 'lying scrounger' by a judge when she appeared for sentence at Manchester Crown Court. Handing her a 12-month suspended sentence, with a six-month curfew and 80 hours of unpaid work, Mr Recorder Sephton QC, said: "Many people in this court and outside it would regard you quite rightly as a scrounger - and a lying scrounger at that, because you are taking money this country desperately needs to serve your own ends." Despite having previous convictions for benefit fraud in the 1990s, Shellard was spared jail after the court heard of her parenting responsibilities. Jonathan Rogers, prosecuting, told the court that Shellard had been overpaid a total of £98,000, although she would have been entitled to around £8,000 of the cash in tax credits if she had been honest. Shellard claimed disability living allowance from 2000, with payments increased to a higher rate after she detailed her obseity-linked health problems. Back in 2003, she said in a DWP interview that she struggled to stand up after sitting down and that she couldn't make a cup of tea without dropping it. Shellard told officers: "If I had help I would go everywhere - I just want to be normal, but I know that will never be." However, between 2008 and 2011, Shellard began to exercise and lost a total of 19 stone. The four-month surveillance operation revealed Shellard could walk briskly unaided and carry heavy shopping. After she was arrested that September, she got a job at a nursing home and worked up to 48 hours a week. Denise Fitzpatrick, defending, said Shellard had 'learned her lesson' and would 'work seven days a week' to make amends.
A mother-of-eight has been jailed for four years after being found guilty of fraudulently receiving £10,000 a month in benefits and tax credits by claiming some of her children had disabilities and conditions.
A judge said Amanda Webber, 43, who was responsible for one of the biggest single benefit fraud overpayments ever recorded as she had received £353,000 over 12 years.
She fooled authorities by making claims on the basis that five of her eight children suffered various disabilities and conditions which affected their care and mobility needs, a five-week trial at Brighton Crown Court heard.
In sentencing Judge Anthony Niblett said Webber and her family had at one point an income of more than £10,000 a month.
Prosecutors said that despite their reputed health problems, the children led active lives, taking part in PE classes and activities including music, drama and dance without difficulties - and some auditioned for ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent.
The court heard that between July 2007 and April 2008, the Webbers were receiving £10,148.91 tax-free a month. This included £474.50 each for three of the children per month for mobility and care allowance, plus an extra £446.55 monthly care allowance for one of them. Other children were awarded £261.08 and £353.60 per month in care and mobility allowance. Mr Webber, who has since split from his wife, was receiving £1,911 per month in income support and £474.50 disability living allowance for diabetes and arthritis. The family also received £445.47 a month in child benefit and £2,000 per month for housing benefit. They were also awarded an average of £2,600 per month in tax credits. Andrew Evans QC, told the jury that Webber had ‘spotted weaknesses in the system and exploited them to her advantage.
A grandmother who claimed benefits saying she was too ill to work was exposed as a fraud after it emerged she had posed nude for a charity calendar. Kay Wilson, 54, maintained she could barely get out of bed after suffering three strokes and was too disabled to even dress herself. But she was perfectly able to undress herself for the photoshoot at the pie factory where she had been working, a court heard.' Wilson, who pocketed almost £75,000 of taxpayers' cash, was jailed for benefit fraud by a judge who told her she had seen it as 'easy money' . She claimed disability living allowance and severe disablement allowance while holding a string of jobs between 2003 and 2011 and earning up to £20,000 a year, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard. Wilson, of Wetley Rocks, Staffordshire, started claiming benefits after suffering a severe stroke in 1993, saying it would take her 20 minutes to walk ten yards with a stick and she was prone to falling. On a renewal form in 1998 she stated she had suffered three strokes in the previous five years and had difficulties getting out of bed and dressing herself. But Wilson carried on claiming benefits when she started working at Leek Golf Club, where she lived with her husband, in November 2002.
A BENEFIT-CHEATING grandmother has escaped a jail sentence despite swindling nearly £90,000 in state handouts using a secret bank account. Carol Corns, 54, continued to claim income support, housing and council tax benefit years after getting a job at a factory. She used a fake national insurance number to fox the authorities and hid her wages and overtime pay by banking them in an account opened under her maiden name. But Corns walked free after a court heard she was plagued by debt. The court heard she secretly began working at a factory which makes wet wipes in 2001, earning up to £500 a week, with overtime. Over the next decade, she fiddled more than £60,000 in income support and some £28,000 in housing and council tax benefit. But Graham Campbell, defending, said Corns – who had no previous convictions – faced "very heavy debts".
A SHAMELESS benefits cheat last night mocked British justice by vowing to ignore a court's demands to repay £54,000 he swindled – despite being spared a jail sentence.
Brian Carter, a jobless council tenant found to have two cars and £112,000 in the bank, said: "They're not getting one solitary penny back off me." The 58-year-old cheat added he may not even do community service after his conviction. He said: "I've been doing bird for the last 45 years. Do you think I would care about three months in prison? I don't give a toss." The swindler from Basildon, Essex, was convicted of claiming £54,000 in income support and housing and council tax benefits while hiding his fortune in a secret account. Magistrates could have jailed Carter for up to nine months but chose to send him back to his state-funded home with a community order instead. There was outrage yesterday after he openly mocked the system.
One jobless family of 12 claims almost £50,000 a year in welfare and say they are much better on the dole than working. Stephannie Fennessy and partner Ian Sharp live in a 5 bedroom rented home. Mr Sharp has not worked for 20 years due to suffering from migraines. Each year the couple get £20,400 in housing benefit, £14,456 in cvhild tax credits, £8,320 in incapacity benefit, £4,524 child benefit and £1,200 council tax benefit. A total of £49,000 tax free. You would need to earn £72,000 before tax to get the same amount plus travelling to work would cost you money.
Britain’s broken welfare system was exposed again after Sharon Minkin claimed that getting a job would mean forfeiting a host of cushy entitlements. The divorcee lives in a three-bedroom, semi-detached house in the market town of St Albans, Herts. Her rented home is equipped with a farmhouse-style kitchen, giant flat-screen TV, large garden, piano and wooden floors. From October, her catalogue of taxpayer-funded handouts will total £3,905-a-month or a staggering £46,860-a-year. After working out the maths, the former City worker said joining Britain’s workforce would leave her and her three children, aged 14, 18 and 19, much worse off. To enjoy the life she currently leads only a job paying £70,000-a-year before tax would be worth taking.
A family of African fraudsters stole at least £4million from taxpayers in a 20-year scam. One created fake identities for up to 100 children to milk the benefit system. She also claimed to suffer from HIV and require costly drugs – but in reality sent them back to Uganda to be sold for huge profits. A court heard that supplying the drugs for so many years cost the taxpayer more than £2million. A further £154,000 went on education for the ‘family’, with £37,500 for a single higher education course. Fraud relating to accommodation costs and sub-letting of flats cost £650,000, and the family’s myriad benefits totalled £900,000. During their six-week trial, a jury heard how the group ‘conspired together to create, use and exploit’ false identities in order to carry out the staggering fraud. Ruth Nabuguzi, 49, ‘employed multiple identities ... so many that the true number of identities may never ever be known’. Nabuguzi, originally from Uganda, made claims for HIV/AIDS drugs costing £2,280,000. She also received £500,000 in housing benefit from Newham Council in east London, Croydon Crown Court heard. Nabuguzi came to the UK in 1991 and claimed asylum for herself and four children she had left behind in Uganda. Three years later, she used the name Jane Namusisi to apply for asylum again – along with two more children. In 1999 – using the name Pauline Zalwango – she applied once more, this time with three children. She is believed to have regularly travelled back to Uganda and bought at least three properties in and around the capital Kampala. Dennis Kyeyune, 29, is thought to be Nabuguzi’s son or nephew. Police found a black holdall at his east London home hidden on a shed roof with a vast array of fake documents, described as a ‘kitbag for the commission of identity fraud’.
AN Iraqi immigrant fiddled more than £35,000 in state benefits then blamed his dishonesty on strict Islamic law, a court was told. Majid Hussain claimed the sum in income support and housing and council tax benefit over 13 years, Exeter Crown Court heard. But Malcolm Galloway, prosecuting, said Hussain was not entitled to the handouts because he had a secret bank account with up to £36,000 in it. When the RBS account was discovered, the 62-year-old said he did not declare it because, in line with Muslim “belief”, the cash was being kept for his children. Mr Galloway told the jury that, in fact, Hussain had dipped into the pot himself, withdrawing £15,000 for his use. “He did not notify the Department for Works and Pensions of some of the money under his control because it was left to him on strict Islamic terms by a relative for the sole use of his children.
A womanising fraudster who hijacked the identities of soldiers and nurses in a £1.3million benefits plot has today been jailed for six years. Chibuikem Uzoma-Ubani, 29, persuaded several lovers to help him launder the profits from the swindle that targeted tax credits and Sure Start maternity grants. Uzoma-Ubani and fellow Nigerian Leonard Nwannenah, 33, of Dagenham, Essex, opened a 'bewildering' 752 bank accounts using the names of hard-working medics and members of the armed forces over a six-year period. The pair were jailed for six years each while Miguel was handed a three-month sentence, suspended for 12 months. Nwanneneh's younger brother Okechi Nwannenah, 30, of Dagenham and Okechi's wife Jennifer Okonkwo, 29, also allowed their bank accounts to be used to launder the proceeds.
A man secretly filmed playing golf while claiming disability benefit has been warned by a judge he faces jail. When Robert Cave first applied for disability benefit in 1996 he said walking was extremely painful and it took him two minutes to walk 10 yards. He also claimed it took him 10-15 minutes to lever himself out of bed.
A benefits cheat claimed more than £33,000 in state handouts despite owning a portfolio of six houses, a court heard. Julija Freiberga, 38, fleeced the taxpayer by claiming she was unemployed and owned only one property - while secretly earning up to £60,000 a year in rent. The Latvian national, who moved to the UK in 1999, also tricked officials by using her ex-husband's name, Tanusi, in some of the applications for income support, jobseekers' allowance, council tax credit and housing benefit.
A mother-of-two today admitted falsely claiming more than £16,000 in benefits while working as a glamour model. Kirsty Summers, 23, told officials she was a jobless single mother but was in fact earning thousands on TV and online shows such as Sport XXX, Bang Babes and the Boudoir Show.
She continued to claim income support, council tax credits and housing benefits while working for nearly 18 months.
As a Romanian immigrant living in the UK, Big Issue seller Firuta Vasile already qualified for more than £25,500 a year in benefits. But one state handout she wasn’t entitled to was housing benefit. Until now. Yesterday the 27-year-old mother of four was celebrating having won the extra payout – worth at least £2,600 a year – after her local council was over-ruled by a judge. Miss Vasile claims £25,547.60 annually in benefits. Every week she receives £326 in tax credits, £60.50 in child benefits, £49.30 in disability living allowance and £55.50 in carers’ allowance. She would now be entitled to around £160 a week in housing benefit – although this will be reduced to around £50 due to her other income.
Kevin O’Connor, received more than £30,000 in incapacity benefit after
claiming he had ruptured a disc in his back. He said he needed a walking stick at all times because he had enormous difficulty
moving even five yards. But undercover benefits investigators who received a
tip-off that he was actually a karate expert caught him out teaching martial
arts. The 49-year-old was filmed showing youngsters in Stoke-on-Trent how to kick,
punch and perform complicated moves.
O’Connor was jailed for 15 months in January 2007 after wrongfully claiming benefits over two years while teaching martial arts.