Benefits cheat housewife, 53, stole £110,000 to pay for luxury holidays and TRAINERS

May 30, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

A shameless housewife swindled over £110,000 from the taxpayer in false benefits claims to pay for TRAINERS and luxury HOLIDAYS, a court heard.

Valerie Garbett, 53, submitted dodgy claims over a nine year period claiming she and husband Philip, 57, were unemployed despite him having a full-time job as a HGV driver.

She used the cash to jet off to sun-soaked destinations including Cyprus and Portugal.

The brazen mum-of-two even posted snaps of sunshine holidays bought with taxpayer cash on Facebook.

In one photo, she can be seen smiling in a swimming costume on a white sandy beach.

Another snap shows her posing outside a souvenir stall next to a statue of a donkey draped in a Portuguese flag.

Meanwhile, other pictures show Philip posing on a beach and relaxing on a sofa in a Mediterranean apartment.

Garbett was jailed for 15 months at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Tuesday after she admitted four counts of benefit fraud.

Recorder Christopher Donnellan QC told her: “You cheated the system for nine years. That is a significant period of time.”

The court heard her scam started in 2002 when Garbett, from Stourbridge, West Mids., began claiming on the basis she and her husband were both unemployed – even though he had a full-time job.

Siobhan Collins, prosecuting, told the court she told DWP investigators the £110,063 overpayment had gone on “buying better quality trainers for the children and family holidays.”

She added the pair were caught out in 2011 when officers found Philip had been working full time.

He walked free from court after the judge heard his wife claimed he was unaware of her false claims.

But he pleaded guilty to fraud after he admitted obtaining NHS vouchers and three pairs of glasses during the scam.

He was placed under supervision and ordered to carry out 40 hours unpaid work and to pay £590 to the NHS.

Recorder Donnellan said: “He had aligned himself to the position taken by his wife.”

Simon Williams, defending Mrs Garbett, said she accepted full responsibility for the fraud.

He said: “After it started she did not know how to stop.

“She is full of remorse for what she has done.”

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