Fraudulent woman freed from jail by appeal judges
‘Greater weight should have been given to her position as carer of daughter’
A MUM who made false benefit claims in her disabled daughter’s name has been freed by senior judges.
Susan Vincent, of Narcot Lane, Chalfont St Giles, was jailed for 20 months at Aylesbury Crown Court last Octo- ber. The 59-year-old admitted making a false statement to obtain benefits and to making a false instrument with intent.
Vincent applied for housing and council tax benefit on behalf of her severely disabled daughter, who suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
She claimed her daughter needed help paying rent to her landlord, whereas in truth she was living in a home partially owned by her mother.
Vincent used the money – around £70,000 – to put towards her mortgage, but her case reached London’s Appeal Court as she successfully challenged her sentence.
Her legal team urged the judges to take account of her previous good character and her role in caring for her daughter.
The money obtained was not used to ‘live the high life’, but would have indirectly benefited her daughter, the court was told.
Judge Anthony Leonard QC, sitting with Lord Justice Simon and Mr Justice Blake, agreed that the 20-month sentence was too harsh.
“Greater weight should have been given to her position as her daughter’s carer, and her previous good character,” he concluded.
“The right sentence is 12 months, suspended for two years”.