Friday, 21 August 2020

Mother-of-eight, 36, avoids jail after scrounging nearly £100,000 in illegal benefit claims

A mother of eight who scrounged almost £100,000 in benefits she claimed for relatives living in Pakistan has been spared jail after she offered to enrol on a taxpayer funded programme to help her realise her crimes were not 'victimless.'

Saaba Mahmood, 36, pocketed state benefit handouts on behalf of her aunt and uncle over a five year period - even though she knew they were living in their native Pakistan.

But when she was caught, shameless Mahmood, of Heald Green near Stockport, Greater Manchester said she did not realise she was unable to claim on behalf of relatives who lived abroad.

She also claimed she 'lacked skills in understanding how to live in society as a responsible adult' and added that she did not realise her offences were not 'victimless crimes.'

At Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, Mahmood admitted four charges of failing to disclose information to make a gain and one offence of fraud but was given 16 months jail suspended for 18 months.

She will also now take part in a 15-day offenders programme estimated to cost £1,500. 

Prosecutor Julian Goode said: 'These are cases relating to benefit claims on behalf of her aunt, uncle, and mother. She acted as an appointee for them and in that capacity and she had a duty to disclose changes in circumstances that would impact the claim.

'She claimed Disability Living Allowance on behalf of her aunt between January 2013 and September 2018, and Employment Support Allowance between February 2013 and October 2018.


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