Patricia Bennet and family
How They Enjoyed Holidays Abroad
A family who falsely claimed £226,000 in benefits while going on luxury holidays abroad were jailed for a total of four and a half years at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday.
Samuel Bennett and his wife Patricia, both 64, claimed disability living allowance for ten years between 2002 and 2012 on the basis they were so ill they could not walk and needed round-the-clock care.
They had also claimed disability benefits for their daughter Danielle Bennett, 30, of Barker Way, Everton, since she was a child and when she was an adult she maintained the lies, saying she was virtually unable to walk, needed 24-hour care, had systemic sclorosis, poly arthritis, Raynaud’s disease, psoriasis, Sjorgram syndrome and depression.
Samuel Bennett fraudulently obtained benefits amounting to £47,163 over a ten year period, Patricia £70,377 and Danielle £108,614 for a total of £226,000.
Danielle, 30, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, Samuel to nine months, and Patricia to 27 months.
Samuel Bennett said he had heart problems, depression and asthma whilst his wife claimed to have arthritis, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome and a hiatus hernia.
The couple, of Woodvale Road, West Derby, said they could only walk a few yards before falling over and needed sticks and other aids to do so.
But they had lied about their supposed infirmities and had in fact embarked on nine luxury holidays over the period including to Australia, on a Caribbean cruise and to America three times.
Footage seized by Department for Work and Pensions showed no evidence of disability at all.
Footage showed Danielle diving into swimming pools, pulling a child on a suitcase and working as a beautician.
Samuel Bennett fraudulently obtained benefits amounting to £47,163 over a ten year period, Patricia Bennett £70,377 and Danielle £108,614 for a total of £226,000.
Old claim forms were found with notes written on them such as: “Just make it worse – think how this would sound”, and “Use this one (disability), we’ve used that one before”.
Sentencing them at Liverpool Crown Court Judge Denis Watson, QC, said: “In almost 30 years of my experience of the criminal courts this is the worst example of benefit fraud that I have personally had to deal with.
“You regarded the funds of the DWP, as it now is, as funds for your personal use. You employed repeated and blatant lies to obtain significant amounts of money.”
Credit: Liverpool Echo