A mother has been found guilty of benefit fraud after she spent years saving up the benefits payments she was entitled to for being her son’s full-time carer instead of spending them, in a bid to “enrich his life”.
According to Wales Online, Kayann Phillips squirrelled away more than £50,000 (AU$87,230) into a savings account, opting to put some of the welfare money away for her 23-year-old son’s future, rather than spending all of the benefits she was paid.
However the 55-year-old, from Wales, UK, was convicted of fraud at Newport Crown Court earlier this week after she failed to declare that she had any money in savings, meaning she was no longer entitled to the full amount of benefits she was paid for a number of years.
“I find that this is an unusual case,” Judge Jeremy Jenkins said. “Unusually you were not spending those benefits to the full extent but you were saving part of the money you received.
“You were saving, I have no doubt, for a very noble purpose – to enrich your son’s life.”
The charges related to the period between August 2011 and September 2017, with the overpayments estimated to total around £70,000 (AU$122,000).
Phillips has been caring for her son, who was described as having “considerable difficulties, since birth. She was handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months.
Recipients of state benefits must inform the Department for Work and Pensions if they have money in savings, as this will have an impact upon the amount of benefits they are entitled to.