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Mum Convicted Of Benefit Fraud After £112,000 Compensation For Brain Damaged Son

14/08/2014 16:53 | Updated 22 May 2015

Mum convicted of benefit fraud over £112,000 compensation for brain damaged son

A mother has been convicted of benefit fraud after she failed to declare a £112,500 payout for her son who became severely brain damaged after he tried to hang himself.

Robert Parris, 23, was on remand at Glen Parva detention centre's healthcare unit, Leicestershire, in October 1999, when he tried to commit suicide.

His mum, Patricia, 50, from Radford, Nottingham, sued the Home Office and received the huge compensation payment for her son shortly after he died.

Mother-of-three Parris was claiming income support, housing benefit and Job Seeker's Allowance legitimately, but after receiving the compensation she did not declare it.

Nottingham Crown Court heard she had claimed to the benefit authorities that, after expenses, she had only £10,000 of the cash left.

But they delved deeper into her finances, finding she had invested her full ISA allowance and bought an annuity with £58,000. She unlawfully claimed £47,591.65 in benefits over seven years.

She admitted not informing Department of Work and Pensions or Nottingham City Council about the capital, which would have affected benefits claims.

Her barrister said it was an exceptional case and she had not been properly advised regarding her investments.

George Purcell said: "She has repaid all she can. She is almost penniless and without a home. In my submission, she has been punished enough.

"She will continue to repay the money by direct debit from her bank account. Whatever money she had has been taken from her.

"Had she put the money in a trust, legally removing her entitlement to it, she would have got the benefit.

"She was advised by the bank. She may have thought she could do that while still receiving those benefits."

Recorder Adrian Redgrave QC gave her a probation supervision for six months.

He said: "It's quite apparent that you have had far more than your fair share of tragedy over the years."

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