Jayne Kitching, 53, has been ordered to pay back the £88,000 she defrauded at a rate of just £7.65 per month
A benefits cheat has been ordered to pay back nearly £88,000 she wrongly claimed while living in Spain, but not until the year 2977.
Jayne Kitching, 53, is paying back the amount she defrauded at a rate of just £7.65 per month, Grimsby Crown Court has heard.
At the rate agreed by the Department of Work and Pensions and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, it would take 958 and a half years, or up to the year 2977.
Based upon the average life expectancy of 80 for a Grimsby woman, that could leave a total of £84,683 unpaid.
In court the mother of two admitted cheating the public revenue between July 2013 and August 2016.
She obtained income support, disability living allowance and carer’s allowance having failed to tell authorities she had moved to Spain.
Kitching also admitted taking tax credit from HMRC between September 2013 and April 2017 and failing to failing to let agencies in the UK know that her children had been taken into care in Spain.
Prosecuting Nigel Clive said she claimed the benefits while living in Spain with her children. She did not tell agencies in the UK she had moved abroad.
Mr Clive said her children were taken from her and placed in the care of local authorities in Spain.
He said: ‘The money she claimed was used for ordinary day-to-day living costs and to pay Spanish legal teams over her childcare claims. There was no lavish lifestyle.’
The children were not returned to her until April 2017 and the prosecutor said she has so far paid back £400.
The benefits cheat would take 958 and a half years, or up to the year 2977, to pay back the full amount she owes
He said: ‘She gets £2,000-a-month now. She is repaying at £7.65 per month and there is no indication that she has any form of assets.’
The court was told she is the registered carer for one of her teenage children.
For Kitching, Craig Lowe said his client ‘cuts a disconsolate and pathetic’ figure.
He said: ‘She is not the most intelligent of individuals and there was no prospect of success. It was only a matter of time before she was caught.’
Recorder Abdul Iqbal QC questioned why authorities had not detected her claiming benefits while living in Spain.
He asked: ‘How would they know if she was living in Doncaster, or Grimsby or Malaga?’
Kitching’s defence lawyer, Craig Lowe, told Grimsby Crown Court (pictured) his client was ‘not the most intelligent of individuals’
Mr Clive said she had posted on Facebook how much she was looking forward to moving to Spain with her two teenage children and said the DWP had been tipped off.
Recorder Iqbal imposed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months.
He said he was doing so as ‘an act of mercy towards her children’ and to avoid them having to be taken into care.
He said: ‘I hope you are thoroughly ashamed of your dishonesty.’
He added benefits agencies in the UK are ‘overburdened and have over-stretched resources’ which she had taken from dishonestly.
Kitching has also been ordered to undergo 20 days of rehabilitation.