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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Carlisle single mum’s £35,000 benefits fraud claim

A single mother who fraudulently claimed more than £35,000 in benefits for more than four years has avoided jail.

Samantha Glenn photo
Samantha Glenn

Samantha Glenn, 26, of Lindisfarne Street, off London Road, Carlisle, claimed housing and council tax benefit – telling authorities she had no other income – despite receiving £5,000 a year from a trust fund.

Previously Carlisle Crown Court had heard that there were suspicions that Glenn’s benefit claims had been fraudulent from the first time she received them in 2003 but there was no evidence to prove this. She admitted claiming the money between May 2005 and November 2009.

Prosecutor Kim Whittlestone admitted that evidence from that period had either been lost or destroyed.

In total Glenn claimed £35,616.86 fraudulently over the four-year period.

Erimnaz Mushtaq, defending, said that Glenn had a difficult upbringing and suffered mental and physical abuse.

She said: “She is solely responsible for her four-year-old daughter and is an excellent parent.

“She has been very naive in the past but she has matured over the past two years.

“She certainly isn’t living a luxury lifestyle and is someone who can be trusted.”

The court had previously heard that Glenn carried out the fraud while in a very abusive relationship.

Recorder Geoffrey Lowe said: “It’s clear that this is a serious offence and in normal circumstances would attract an immediate custodial sentence.

“You have taken a great number of steps to rehabilitate yourself and are a dedicated mother.

“You are being given an opportunity today that I doubt you will ever be given again.”

Glenn was given a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, put on 12 months supervision and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

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