Mum net­ted £50,000 through ben­e­fits con

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Basement’s Sinful Secret - By Paul Hooper

An Ash­ford mum-of-three, whose hus­band earns £1,700 a month, cheated tax­pay­ers out of nearly £50,000.

For six years ly­ing Is­abelle Perry, 50, pock­eted a va­ri­ety of ben­e­fits af­ter claim­ing she was a sin­gle mum liv­ing at her home in Mil­ton Road.

She was even­tu­ally rum­bled af­ter be­ing shopped by her mother-in-law.

Even then, she claimed she had started cheat­ing be­cause her hus­band gam­bled away all his earn­ings.

David Perry sat im­pas­sively in the pub­lic gallery at Can­ter­bury Crown Court as his wife’s bar­ris­ter ac­cused him of blow­ing all his cash at the book­ies.

But Judge Heather Norton told her: “You claim that he is the root of all your prob­lems be­cause he is the gam­bler and had failed to con­trib­ute to the fam­ily’s fi­nances.

“You also claim you were suf­fer­ing do­mes­tic abuse of one form or another… yet I find it dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand that be­cause not only are you still with him, but he is in court sup­port­ing you. I find that rather odd.”

The court heard how the dou­ble-deal­ing mum is now re­pay­ing the money she took at £5 a week out of her child ben­e­fits – which would take her more than 200 years to com­plete.

Perry pleaded guilty to the ben­e­fit fraud, which be­gan in 2006, claim­ing she was a sin­gle mum – even though she had mar­ried two years ear­lier and they were liv­ing to­gether.

But prose­cu­tor Robert De Banzies said that checks showed Mr Perry had worked for five em­ploy­ers dur­ing that pe­riod, adding: “Ev­i­dence hav­ing come to the ears of the DWP, she was in­vited to at­tend an in­ter­view. She claimed they had split up in 2006 and he had re­fused her a di­vorce.

“She said that he then came to stay pe­ri­od­i­cally and de­scribed their re­la­tion­ship as purely pla­tonic, al­though he did some gar­den­ing and shop­ping for her.”

But checks with Mr Perry’s mother and neigh­bours re­vealed the cou­ple lived at the ad­dress apart from a cou­ple of weeks dur­ing this pe­riod.

Paul Hog­ben, de­fend­ing, said: “She finds her­self in this predica­ment be­cause of her fail­ure to man­age her fam­ily’s fi­nances.

“David Perry is a gam­bler and was work­ing for long pe­ri­ods away from home and wasn’t con­tribut­ing. He re­peat­edly threw the money away at the book­ies and also on drink. He has said that he knows that he is partly re­spon­si­ble for what hap­pened.

“This lady has a his­tory of ter­ri­ble re­la­tion­ships and she is a woman so timid that she can barely speak.”

Ben­e­fit fraud mum Is­abelle Perry claimed her hus­band gam­bled away all of his earn­ings

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