Benefit cheat with 7 kids jailed for 18 weeks

Luton: A mother of seven has been jailed for a £37,000 benefit fraud after claiming she was a single parent while living with her partner.
Harris, 38, of St Nicholas Close, Flitwick, was paid the cash for income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit.

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When she was interviewed she admitted that he had been helping her with some of her bills and that she had taken phone calls for the business, and that she had been foolish to let him run the business from there. However, she said he sometimes lived in Milton Keynes or with friends and relatives.

Andrew Morton, defending, said the couple had been separated but he came to her assistance in 2008 when she was having a very difficult pregnancy.

He said: But she does understand her culpability and expresses remorse for her conduct. Since being charged in July last year she has been in trepidation of a custodial sentence. But she still has seven children, five of school age and I would urge the court to suspend the sentence.

Judge David Farrell QC said, the fact is you are a fraudster. This conduct constitutes theft from hard working members of the public.

Harris pleaded guilty to five charges of making false representations to the Department of Work and Pensions and Central Bedfordshire Council between April 2008 and February 2011.

She was jailed for 18 weeks.