Warwick mother admits £80,000 benefit fraud

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A Warwick mother-of-four who fraudulently claimed more than £80,000 in benefit payments over five years has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Surveillance of Tania Jackson’s home revealed that the father of two of her children was living there with her, but she did not inform the authorities, Warwick Crown Court – sitting in Coventry - heard.

The 44-year-old, of Shelley Avenue, Warwick, pleaded guilty last week (January 27) to one offence each of failing to notify Warwick District Council of a change of circumstances which she knew would affect her entitlement to council tax and housing benefit after moving in with her husband,Paul Kelleher.

She also failed to declare to HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions that she was living with him.

Notifying HMRC and the DWP would have, respectively, affected her entitlement to tax credit and income support.

The four offences occurred on dates between July 20 2009 and July 30 2014.

Prosecutor Andrew Wallace said: “The defendant has repeatedly lied about her relationship with Paul Kelleher.”

She received a total of £80,825.18 in just over five years.

Mr Wallace told the court Paul Kelleher was the father of two of Jackson’s children and they had holidays together.

There was no other known address for Mr Kelleher, his car insurance and DVLA details were registered at Jackson’s home and 20 Wonga loans had been claimed by him from that address.

The prosecutor said “an extensive surveillance operation” revealed that Mr Kelleher’s was at the address on 53 occasions.

Sean Logan said Jackson “merely buried her head in the sand. She will be repaying [the benefit money].”

He added: “Her partner is now living in Birmingham. She is looking to obtain 
work.”

Mr Logan said his client now receives carer’s allowance. Her ten-year-old son suffers from autism.

“Her partner has never apologised…and has been content to let her take the blame.”

Jackson was given 35 weeks’ custody, suspended for two years, 200 hours’ unpaid work and told to pay a victim surcharge.