League star’s wife claimed $50k to keep up ap­pear­ances

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News - IAN PATER­SON

THE wife of rugby league star David Fi­fita pre­tended she was a sin­gle mother to claim Cen­tre­link ben­e­fits which she spent on keep­ing up with other WAGs.

Jade Robin­son has pleaded guilty to re­ceiv­ing al­most $50,000 in sin­gle par­ent pay­ments, with a court hear­ing ev­i­dence the 26-year-old felt she was “liv­ing in her husband’s shadow”.

The of­fences oc­curred from Septem­ber 2011 to Fe­bru­ary 2013 when Fi­fita — twin brother of Cronulla Sharks star Andrew Fi­fita — was earn­ing up to $160,000 a year play­ing in France.

Robin­son, who gave birth to the cou­ple’s third child four months ago, ap­peared at Gos­ford Court yes­ter­day af­ter fly­ing in from the UK where she now lives with Fi­fita, who re­cently signed a two-year con­tract with English club Wake­field Trin­ity.

Robin­son’s so­lic­i­tor Mr Sa­mar Singh-Pan­war said im­ma­tu­rity was partly to blame for the of­fences.

“Her ac­tions re­lated to her feel­ings of in­ad­e­quacy and judg­ment from oth­ers,” he said.

“The psy­chol­ogy re­port makes ref­er­ence to her liv­ing in her husband’s shadow and part of the mo­ti­va­tion for the of­fend­ing was the no­tion of keep­ing up and com­pet­ing with her peers.”

All up, Robin­son pock­eted $48,507.52 in sin­gle par­ent pay­ments af­ter ly­ing about her re­la­tion­ship.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors un­cov­ered her fraud af­ter their check with the of­fice of Births, Deaths and Mar­riages re­vealed David Fi­fita was listed as the fa­ther of Robin­son’s son Krew and daugh­ter Deja.

Fi­fita has not been charged with any of­fence and there is no sug­ges­tion he was party to any wrong­do­ing.

Cen­tre­link of­fi­cials raided the cou­ple’s Suther­land home on May 18 last year and seized fam­ily photos show­ing the cou­ple and their chil­dren, in­clud­ing Krew’s chris­ten­ing in Oc­to­ber 2011 and her diary in which she wrote in April 2013 about her “seven-year an­niver­sary” with Fi­fita.

Robin­son told Cen­tre­link she mar­ried Fi­fita in April 2016 but in­ves­ti­ga­tors said they found a wed­ding book­let and video that showed they ac­tu­ally mar­ried in Koh Sa­mui, Thai­land, two years ear­lier, on Oc­to­ber 10, 2014.

Shielded by her husband and sup­ported by other fam­ily mem­bers, Robin­son did not re­spond to ques­tions as she left court.

Her lawyer had told the court that since her of­fend­ing had hit the head­lines, she had been sub­ject to hate mail.

Robin­son is due to re­turn to Gos­ford Lo­cal Court on Fri­day for sen­tenc­ing.

David Fi­fita and Jade Robin­son at Gos­ford Court yes­ter­day, and (in­set) an In­sta­gram im­age of the cou­ple. Pic­ture: John Grainger

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