Barrister with two properties and full-time job claimed to be unemployed single mum to get a COUNCIL FLAT
A barrister is facing jail for fraudulently claiming she was an unemployed single mum to get a council flat – despite having two properties and a full-time job.
Nadine Wilson-Ellis, 35, told officials she was penniless when she was in fact living 150 miles away with her husband and working as full-time law teacher.
The mother-of-two was given a council flat in Easton, Bristol, which she illegally sub-let for £100-a-week while she lived with her family in one of two homes she owned in Nottingham.
Greedy Wilson-Ellis – who recently qualified as a barrister – made money from the scam for two years before she was caught when she asked Bristol City Council for a bigger flat.
Investigators found she had falsified bank statements and a maternity certificate in an attempt to prove she was living in Bristol while she lived and worked 150 miles away.
She was teaching law full-time at a higher education college in Nottingham with a £30,000 salary.
Wilson-Ellis told Bristol Crown Court she had not rented out her council flat and insisted the tenant was a friend.
She claimed: “The lady who stayed with me was not living there.
“She was paying me back. I had leant her some money previously, to help her out so she could help her mum out back in Jamaica for her mum’s surgery.”
But Bristol’s Assistant Mayor Gus Hoyt, responsible for neighbourhoods and council housing, accused her of a “shocking abuse of the system”.
He said: “It is hard to think that our investigation officers will come across a worse example of fraud.
“Tenancy fraud is theft, pure and simple.
“It robs those who are in genuine need of social housing of a precious and scarce resource.
“There are currently more than 14,000 people on the waiting list in Bristol.
“The need for social housing has never been greater. This was scandalous.”
If Wilson- Ellis had not been caught she would eventually have qualified for the right to buy a larger council house in Bristol, depriving a family in genuine need of much sought-after social housing.
She was found guilty of offences under the Fraud Act on Friday and is set to be sentenced next month.