A woman who pretended to have a daughter who was seriously injured in the Manchester Arena attack to make an insurance claim has been jailed for two years.
Susan Pain, 51, of Kirkby in Merseyside, was sentenced for two counts of fraud at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday after she pleaded guilty at magistrates’ court to claiming £139,000 through 31 fraudulent insurance claims.
Pain, with shoulder-length blonde hair and wearing a black polka dot dress, stared at the floor as she was sentenced.
She was discovered after her final claim, in which she said a daughter called Sophie had sustained multiple serious injuries when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a device at the arena on 22 May last year.
Christopher Hopkins, prosecuting, said: “The defendant in fact had no daughter and the claim was of course false.”
Judge Alan Conrad QC said: “I am sure all right-minded members of the public would be shocked, in particular, that you would use a tragedy which shook the nation as the basis for a fraudulent claim.”
The court heard Pain had worked for insurance broker Money Medical Management, which sold policies underwritten by AXA, since she was 16 and oversaw a section of the business which provided insurance for medical professionals to cover unexpected loss of earnings.
In the period between January 2010 and August 2017 she made claims under the names of friends and family members.
In one she claimed her friend’s seven-year-old son had leukaemia, while another said her niece’s elderly mother was housebound after a fall.
In July last year she claimed for £2,500 she said she had suffered in loss of earnings after her daughter had been in intensive care following the arena attack and had to undergo major operations.
Judge Conrad said: “In some cases you used false documents in support of claims and such was the trust in which you were held they were never challenged.”
Michael Bagley, defending, said: “How she got to this point is still fundamentally difficult to understand.”
He said Pain was still in debt, despite the fraudulent claims.
He added: “She is relieved it is over. The greatest punishment for her, of course, is social ruin. She is going to have to confront a life now where all her achievements are set at nought.”
Detective Constable Ant Andrews, of City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, which investigated the claims, said: “Pain exploited the tragic terror attack at the Manchester Arena, as well as other examples of human suffering, to make a financial gain.
“She betrayed the trust she had with her friends and family, using their details to make the false claims, then lying to them so she could receive the money she’d stolen.
“She is now paying a significant price for her fraudulent activity, not just with the sentence handed down by the court, but also with the loss of her job and reputation.”
Carolyn Scott, head of household and lifestyle at AXA Insurance, said: “Ms Pain took advantage of a position of trust to deceive her employer and defraud AXA. She used details of extremely upsetting events and circumstances to make fraudulent claims for her own personal gain.”