Romford benefit cheat caught hook, line and sinker gets year in jail

Photos were found of Toulson and her husband on a luxury yacht. Picture: Ian Nicholson (PA)

Photos were found of Toulson and her husband on a luxury yacht. Picture: Ian Nicholson (PA) - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A £117,000 benefit cheat who enjoyed a luxury cruise with her husband while claiming to be a single mother has been jailed for a year.

Lisa Ann Toulson, 33, fraudulently received income support, job seekers allowance, employment support and housing and council tax benefits.

She was caught out in late 2012 when Havering Council investigators visited her after allegations she was living with her husband.

On inspection they found photos of the couple from their wedding vows renewal ceremony held on a luxury cruise liner, as well as invites from the event.

Also found were photos from their original nuptials - 18 years ago in 1996.

Toulson, of Bushy Close, Romford, was sentenced to 12 months in prison on Friday at Snaresbrook Crown Court after claiming a total of £117,962.59 over the years.

Judge Recorder Clarke told her: “This crime affects all aspects of society. You gained an advantage over other claimants leading to a significant loss so you could enhance your own lifestyle. In the circumstances only a custodial sentence is justified.”

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Cllr Roger Ramsey, council leader, said he hoped a year in prison would send a message to other would-be fraudsters.

He said: “I hope this is a warning to those who think they can play the system and get away with it. A year in prison is proof enough that far from being a victimless crime, benefit fraud is actually a serious offence which will leave you with a criminal record for life.”

Other evidence included male clothing in one of the wardrobes in the main bedroom, wage slips in the bedside cabinet and more images of the couple throughout the years.

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