Search

Harold Hill woman escapes jail after £76,000 benefit fraud

18:00 02 April 2014

A mother-of-five who committed benefit fraud by claiming £76,000 she was not entitled to has escaped jail.

Stacey Bailey, 32, of Heaton Avenue, Harold Hill, began claiming income support in 2004 and continued pocketing handouts after tying the knot, and therefore losing her entitlement.

Bailey told Havering Council she was still a single mother and was not caught until April 2012, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

In total, she claimed £76,817 in hand-outs she was not entitled to, including childcare benefits, income support, housing and council tax benefits.

Judge Stephen Freeland QC handed the mum a 12-month suspended jail sentence, after deciding the welfare of her children would be seriously diminished should she be incarcerated.

He said: “In a way you richly deserve to go immediately into custody.

“It is true the income support was not from the outset dishonest but your claiming of housing and council tax benefits was wholly dishonest.

“But you are the mother of five children and I think you are genuinely remorseful. You are also looking after your nephew and your testimonials are very complimentary of you.

“I am just about able to suspend this sentence but should you be back before this court for any offence, you will be going immediately into custody.”

Bailey must perform 200 hours community service within the next year and pay £300 in prosecution costs.

She is already paying back the money she owes - out of the benefits she is still claiming.

At the moment all of the income support money is still owed to the Department of Work and Pensions while just more than £30,000 is owed to Havering Council.

Bailey admitted four counts of dishonestly making a false representation for self-gain and one count of failing to notify the DWP of a change in circumstance.

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 17:06

Commuters are facing delays and cancellations on the c2c line this evening due to Storm Doris.

Yesterday, 13:38

Officers are searching for a teenager after a 26-year-old woman was punched on a busy bus in Romford.

Yesterday, 11:09

Storm Doris has already taken effect in the borough after winds brought down a massive tree in a busy road.

Yesterday, 09:15

Leading figures in Havering have set out big aspirations by vowing to build 30,000 new homes and bring 18,000 new jobs to the borough by 2035.

Yesterday, 07:00

The founder of a drama group which has raised thousands of pounds for charity says they no longer feel supported, after Queen’s Theatre said it would not be able to accommodate its annual show this year.

Wed, 17:24

Pupils were treated to an afternoon of rhyming words when an acclaimed poet visited their school to lead an innovative workshop.

Wed, 17:00

A teenager has been arrested after an under 16s football match turned ugly and resulted in two teenagers and a man being squirted in the face with a “noxious substance”.

Wed, 15:09

After apologising for the lack of recycling bags available last week - the council now says supplies have been replenished.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now