Portsmouth woman jailed for £72,000 benefits fraud

Portsmouth Crown Court
Portsmouth Crown Court
Ravelin Park in Portsmouth.

Picture: Habibur Rahman

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A FRAUDSTER who falsely claimed more than £72,000 in benefits is behind bars.

Lisa Rose, 43, claimed income support, housing and council tax benefit and child tax credit she was not entitled to for four-and-a-half years before being caught.

Rose, of Laburnum Grove, North End, Portsmouth, was snared after a search of her home uncovered a wealth of evidence that she was living with her now ex-husband. She had not declared it to the authorities.

Now Rose has been jailed for 10 months after she admitted five counts of fraud. Portsmouth Crown Court heard Rose was caught after her home was put under surveillance.

Officers searched her home and found her then-husband Jason at the property.

There were pictures of them together and there was a ‘wealth of documents suggesting that Mr Rose had been living at the home since 2007. Officers also found anniversary cards.

In one of the cards Rose had written to her husband: ‘Thank you for 11 wonderful years, let’s do it all again. Love you lots.’

The court heard in Rose’s defence that throughout her relationship she had found herself in a ‘very difficult and unstable relationship with very severe requirements upon her.’

The court heard the child tax credit claims were fraudulent from the outset, as Rose stated that she did not have a partner and was living with her children.

The income support and council tax credit payments were legitimately claimed at the outset.

However Rose did make false declarations. She committed the offences between September 2007 and February 2012.

Addressing Rose, who has no previous convictions, Judge Roger Hetherington, sentencing, said: ‘Though there is no evidence here of high living, nevertheless there is some evidence of matters in the household which were consistent with you receiving quite a significant income between the two of you, namely a subscription to Sky television and the fact that your husband was having his car paid for as well as supporting you.

‘His wages from his work went into your bank account since 2007, and so this was a serious and substantial fraud committed over a period of time, for which there is no excuse whatever.

‘I accept that there may have been times when the relationship with Mr Rose was difficult but that in itself is no excuse for defrauding the public to the extent that you did – or at all.’