An unattributed piece in The Times today, which isn’t available on their website. The title above the piece is, “Our creaking welfare state relies on honesty, judge tells benefits cheat”, neatly illustrating the point made in an article by William Smyth, which we linked to yesterday, pointing out that the sex of offenders is usually not mentioned in headlines, when the offender is a woman. The piece:
A judge has branded the welfare state “overrun and creaking” after a woman falsely claimed £73,000 in benefits over six years posing as a single mother. [J4MB: You will not be surprised to learn she will not be required to repay a penny back to long-suffering taxpayers.]
Judge Angela Nield sentenced Joanne Mole, 47, to eight months in prison suspended for two years and 240 hours’ unpaid work [J4MB: That works out at £73,000 / 240 = £304.17 per hour. Nice work, if you can get it.] after she admitted claiming £44,500 in child tax credits, £27,000 housing benefit and £1,891 in council tax support in 2010-16 on the basis that she was a single parent in care of two sons, without disclosing that her husband had moved back into their home in Bury, Greater Manchester, after a prolonged separation.
In sentencing, Judge Nield noted that Mole had no convictions and had used the money to “make ends meet”. [J4MB: Can anyone suggest how I might steal money to make ends meet?] “The benefit system in this country is unique in the world,” she said. “It is, however, cumbersome and very reliant on those who claim… all too open it is open to misuse. It is not easy to detect claims of this nature which are made fraudulently, [J4MB: That’s it, encourage anyone considering becoming a benefits cheat.] which results in large amounts of money being taken from the system, which is already overrun and creaking.”
Mole pleaded guilty at Minshull crown court to two charges of dishonestly failing to notify of a change in circumstances that affected her entitlement to social security benefit and one charge of being concerned in falsely claiming tax benefits.
It hardly needs pointing out that far from deterring crime, Judge Angela Nield has actively encouraged it.
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