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benefit fraud court date


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hi all im summoned to court in a few weeks for benefit fraud ( claiming to be single while living with a partner )I plan to plead guilty i just want it over with asap .Im currently expecting a baby and am suffering quite badly with depression at the moment. I dont feel like i could be strong enough to attend court but it says if i dont it will go against me .Also i was wanting advice regarding the publicity around this - i live in a tiny village as does my landlord ( next door) my children go to the local schools , my husband works for a local company . Once this is publicised i will probably lose my home , my husband his job and my children will be so badly bullied they wont have a school to go to .I know this is all my fault and i dont expect symapthy but is their anything i can do to protect my children?thank you x

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Oh dear, I do feel for you. How old are the children? I can't imagine any parent at the school telling their child that X's mummy has done this, that, or the other. I certainly wouldn't, so perhaps you're looking at the worst case scenario, I would perhaps approach the school prior to your court appearance though. Nothing should happen to your husband in terms of his job (as far as I'm aware) he hasn't done anything wrong. As for your landlord, if you're certain it will be published in the local press, I would probably speak to him ahead of your appearance also.

 

I wonder if you could get the date changed because of your pregnancy and depression? Also, it might be worth speaking to the court to see if your name could be kept out of the public domain on the basis that it may compromise your home etc. I don't know if any of this can be achieved but maybe worth a try? I would also prepare the children, just in case.

 

It will ultimately blow over though, a supervisor where I work was named in the paper for the same and after a week or so of general sniggering etc it all seems to have been forgotten.

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There is very little chance of getting it kept out of the media unfortunately. A few people have asked this before on here & DWP staff have said the only way is in extreeeme circumstances & believe it or not, the children would have to be in some kind of danger.

They are really into putting prosecutions in the media to act as a deterrent to benefit thieves tbh. Most people would rather they didn't of course.

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my children are 4 , 6 and 10 years old . I dont expect any sympathy and nor did i ask for it and i wont justify what i have done however my children didnt ask to be bullied , homeless or have an unemplyed father when this comes out . When i initially claimed i was entitled i just had a very complicated time with an on and off partner and a disabled child .Im genuinely just seeking advice on wether i have to physcially attend court and if i can somehow protect my children from my mistake . I dont really want the date changed as i want it over and done with - saying that the date id VERY shortly and im not entitled to legal aid .

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my children are 4 , 6 and 10 years old . I dont expect any sympathy and nor did i ask for it and i wont justify what i have done however my children didnt ask to be bullied , homeless or have an unemplyed father when this comes out . When i initially claimed i was entitled i just had a very complicated time with an on and off partner and a disabled child .Im genuinely just seeking advice on wether i have to physcially attend court and if i can somehow protect my children from my mistake . I dont really want the date changed as i want it over and done with - saying that the date id VERY shortly and im not entitled to legal aid .

 

Who is it that is taking you to court, DWP, council or HMRC? I really don't have any experience of this but, surely if it's the council it'd be a bit of an own goal if it puts your family in danger of becoming homeless. Why do you think your husband might lose his job? My children are 6 months, 6 years, and 8 years and I would never dream of even discussing anything to do with their friend's parents in front of them. If you did approach the school, perhaps they could take the initiative somehow?

 

Like you, I live in a VERY small village in Cornwall and I can imagine what you're going through.

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I know from people who have been done in the courts for benefit fraud that by the time they take all your circumstances into account you only end up paying a few £££ back a week, which isn't really a deterrent and probably explains why I have seen people go on and do it again!!

 

They may publish the crime but who the hell reads them these days? Probably not many people so I wouldn't worry about it, just get on with your life and look forward to the baby!

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it states prosecution is DWP but its 2 charges - one for income support and one for council tax and housing benefit . Once my husbands employer ( and his wife whose children go to school with my children ) hears about it im sure work would very suddently dry up if you get what im saying - he is in a job where he deals with the public his boss wont want somebody working for his company who had been associated with benefit fraud if that makes sense?

The school is a funny one most of the kids hear the adults concersations and gossip . I personally like you would never ever discuss anything infront of my children but a lot of the parents are very much out to make themselves look good so im sure the parents ( who are already a funny bunch ) would allow the children some inkling of what would of happened - there are a minority of children who get picked on because they are on free school meals if you get where im coming from .

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im sorry i wasnt aware you had to be innocent or lie to post here ? Im more than aware what i did ( some 4/5 years ago !) and my husband and i pay our taxes like everyone else and he works 60+ hours a week to provide for us so dont worry you most definitely not be paying for my child or my children i currently have . We are not a couple who sit on our backsides claiming benefits ,nor are we living in housing assosciation houses given to us or being paid housing benefit or council tax benefits nore are we claiming any jobseekers , income support . I failed to report a change in circumstances due to a very complex private life which im not justifying - i was simply directed here for some advice not personal opinions but ill allow you that one if it makes you feel better .

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it states prosecution is DWP but its 2 charges - one for income support and one for council tax and housing benefit . Once my husbands employer ( and his wife whose children go to school with my children ) hears about it im sure work would very suddently dry up if you get what im saying - he is in a job where he deals with the public his boss wont want somebody working for his company who had been associated with benefit fraud if that makes sense?

The school is a funny one most of the kids hear the adults concersations and gossip . I personally like you would never ever discuss anything infront of my children but a lot of the parents are very much out to make themselves look good so im sure the parents ( who are already a funny bunch ) would allow the children some inkling of what would of happened - there are a minority of children who get picked on because they are on free school meals if you get where im coming from .

 

Funny bunch round here too, lots of BMW 4x4 drivers ever so slightly up themselves. However, I am a believer in people doing the right thing if approached in the right way, if your husband gets on with his boss I would let him speak directly to him about it, stress the difficulties at the time and that you made a mistake when everything got on top of you. His boss then has to be pretty careful about what he does and how he does it with regards to his employment, I think anything deliberately detrimental would be really stupid.

 

Can you give your defence/plea to the court in writing? For instance, if your GP feels that it would stress you out too much to attend? I think I would take that route if I felt it was going to be too much for me, and do stress to the court the pressure that you were/are under so that they're aware of any mitigating circumstances. We're all human and make bad calls sometimes, have made some clangers in my time!

 

Finally, the children need you and their dad more than anyone else, they'll get over it. The 4 and 6 year olds won't understand and, most likely, won't hear anything about it from their peers who won't be interested in what you've done either unless you've morphed into a power ranger. Your 10 year old could be tricky but, just explain as best you can that even grown ups make mistakes and leave it there. I would try to focus their attention on the new baby and if the court date is that soon, they may have the Easter hols before going back, most gossip gets forgotten pretty quickly.

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I would hope that anyone who hears about this would think of the children, whatever they think of you (I am not judging you), it was something you did for certain reasons, now regret and unfortunately the way its being finally sorted involves the court. If it does get reported I guess the only thing you can do is face up (which you are doing) and in the event of any bullying of your children, a word in the ear of the school, I would, however hard, speak out that I did do wrong and its been sorted out and the kind of parent who discusses these things with their children who then go on to bully other children because of it, are themselves in need of some parenting classes, there are many things we shouldn't and don't discuss in front of children, and these things are one of those. The children are innocent. Husbands boss, well maybe he could have a word with his boss before all this kicks off? explain his/your side, at least he/you will know the score there and find a way through.

 

Sorry if not much help. Just my thoughts. And for what it is worth I wish you the best possible outcome in the circumstances.

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You going to court will look better. It will also allow you to put your side of the story across. Hope all goes as best as it can. I would if you can, get a letter from your GP about the depression and pregnancy and ask if it's possible to defer the case for now. Although, I'm not sure if there's a limit on how long they can defer it for.

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You going to court will look better. It will also allow you to put your side of the story across. Hope all goes as best as it can. I would if you can, get a letter from your GP about the depression and pregnancy and ask if it's possible to defer the case for now. Although, I'm not sure if there's a limit on how long they can defer it for.

 

Agree with getting documentation in support of you from your GP, if you haven't already, I would make an appointment asap and make him/her aware.

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thank you ever so much cornwallIrish for your advice i appreciate it greatly ! Will definitely speak to my husband when he gets home from work regarding speaking to his boss . I wonder if the CAB can advise me if i can submit my plea & information via writing ? Im unsure how i approach my GP with writing to say i cant attend i dont know if the court has to approach the GP ?I only have a short period of time to get things in place really and the pack doesnt hold that much information?

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Hello Krsrejm60

 

As far as discussing the possibility of your court appearance going into the papers, I would not act on it myself until after you have indeed appeared in court. There may be something else going on that day that takes over the news headlines and the reporters could well be sent to report on that matter. Not every case gets published.

 

Frankly I am shocked at some of the judgmental comments on this thread, and although I do not endorse benefit fraud in any way shape or form, this poster is asking for help and advice on how to deal with her forthcoming problems, she does not need a lecture, I'm sure she already knows she has done wrong.

 

Please keep posting, and I'm sure more experienced members will be around soon to advise you.

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Is your GP aware of what's going on with this? If it's easier for you, write it down. The letter doesn't need to be pages and pages long. It just needs to confirm that you're pregnant and have depression.

 

I would also get CAB involved. You need someone who knows what they're doing with cases like this.

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You have done what loads of other folk have already done,,it's not right but it's also not a hanging offence.There but for the Grace of God etc ,now it's damage limitation thats the priority. Certainly don't make yourself ill over it hun,easy for me to say i know but it WILL blow over,,it's the fear of the unknown.

Personally,,I'd see your Dr and lay your cards on the table..you are vulnerable and looking for support which you might find he/she is willing to give being as you are expecting.

Could your husband possibly go to court with you? Or a close friend?

Maybe the amount you are being done for won't be of interest to the local media?

In any case,,I wish you luck.

Lillibelle

 

I only know what I know cos I know it,I only give advice,I'm not legally trained nor do I pretend to be.

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thank you ever so much cornwallIrish for your advice i appreciate it greatly ! Will definitely speak to my husband when he gets home from work regarding speaking to his boss . I wonder if the CAB can advise me if i can submit my plea & information via writing ? Im unsure how i approach my GP with writing to say i cant attend i dont know if the court has to approach the GP ?I only have a short period of time to get things in place really and the pack doesnt hold that much information?

 

You're more then welcome, I just wish I could do more. I hope you have a couple of mates around you that you can rely on and that your husband is being supportive. Things are rarely as bad as we think they are, I'm the world's worst for it! I had an accident a couple of years ago though which almost cost me my life and it has put much in perspective for me. That I'm still here with my little people is what is really important and money worries, etc.etc. will blow over (even if I do still stress about it sometimes) This time next year this period of your life will seem like a million miles away.

 

Get hubby to speak to his boss, ring your GP's office and see if you can have a phone consultation (they certainly do here) fill them in on what's happening and see what they think, also ask for a letter to confirm your current condition and that you've suffered with depression. I know just how much that can influence decision making!

 

As you say, speak to CAB or see if you can get a free initial consultation with a solicitor and pick their brains about what is possible. Also, speak to your landlord if you can, it'd be a very cold hearted individual who would insist you move for having made a mistake in life. As for those who would judge you, well, they can go to hell in a handcart.

 

You have your life and your family, draw a line under what's happened and start looking forward and I wish you the very best of luck. Please let us know how you get along and if you ever need someone to talk to feel free to message me.

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As Lillibelle says, "there for the grace of god go" a lot of people. Good Luck and please keep posting, others will see that will know more and hopefully offer advice. Stay strong.

 

Love that "go to hell in a handcart" CornwallIrish it did make me LOL (the quote not situation).

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If God and all his Angels descended most of us would be in the Sin Bin for something or another and kicking someone who is already down is just plain nasty. Please keep us informed hun,,you've been a bit daft but heyho,,haven't we all at one time or another??

Lillibelle

 

I only know what I know cos I know it,I only give advice,I'm not legally trained nor do I pretend to be.

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Those who have made derogatory and judgemental comments - this is an advice forum, not a judgement forum - if you don't have anything constructive to say, then stay silent or take your comments to MSE.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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As Lillibelle says, "there for the grace of god go" a lot of people. Good Luck and please keep posting, others will see that will know more and hopefully offer advice. Stay strong.

 

Love that "go to hell in a handcart" CornwallIrish it did make me LOL (the quote not situation).

 

Being Irish and living in Cornwall I was always destined to have such 'pearls' for ready disposal, most people don't know what I'm on about half the time. Still, I do and they always make me feel better, god knows what my poor children will turn out like :madgrin:

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Hello !

 

Although the DWP are prosecuting your case is now in the Court system and they make all the decisions.

 

You have been summonsed to attend Court - you will have to attend. You cannot plead guilty by letter.

 

If you obtain medical evidence to say that you are not fit to attend the Court will adjourn the case to a date when you will be fit enough to attend. If you fail to attend without notifying the Court, or without good reason, it is very likely that a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

 

You don't give any indication of the amount of the overpayments involved, so I am assuming that they are of an amount that will be dealt with in the Magistrates court.

 

It is worth getting medical evidence as the magistrates will probably ask for pre-sentencing reports from the probation service. Sometimes they do this on the same day (depending on how busy they are) and sometimes you will be given an appointment and given a date to return to court to be sentenced. Medical evidence, and any details of your current circumstances will be taken into account in the pre-sentence report.

 

The DWP generally only contact the Press when it is a large case, the local council have a lesser requirement. However, neither the DWP nor the local council can have any say if there happens to be a member of the press sat in the court.

 

It really is better to grit your teeth and get it over and done with. It probably wont be as bad as you think. Good Luck

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It's not actually anything to do with the DWP etc if a media reporter is at court or not that day, they tend to turn up most days tbh to see if anything is news worthy, but as someone else said, there could be lots more going in the local rag that week & they wont put yours in it, I bet especially not if it's not a huuuge amount. When my brother was in court (not benefit related & the case was thrown out of court anyway) he said he could spot the reporters a mile off in there. But they didn't print anything about him.

It's really just pot luck.

edit: personally I don't think they should be allowed to print anything about people with children. But...

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