Benefits cheat’s bizarre courtroom punishment

August 13, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

A serial benefits cheat was ordered to sit at the back of a courtroom for a whole day – as a PUNISHMENT.

Scrounger Tara Howard, 31, was even told she faced JAIL if she went to the toilet without asking an usher for permission first.

The bizarre punishment came after Howard admitted falsely claiming £3,684.66 in Jobseekers Allowance and housing benefits at Worcester Magistrates Court.

The mum-of-one was slapped with a £100 fine, a 12 month community order and ordered her to carry out 120 hours community service.

But JPs also ordered her to sit in the courtroom for the rest of the day to teach her a further lesson in obeying the law.

Howard, from Worcester, admitted coining in benefits despite working TWO jobs in the city.

Shockingly, her latest con came after she was given an eight-week suspended prison sentence for falsely claim benefits in December 2007.

Ruth Edwards, prosecuting on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) told the court: ”When interviewed in November 2009, Howard admitted falsely claiming benefits and said she had forgotten to tell the relevant authorities of her change in circumstances.”

Paul Stanley, defending, said: ”She is now living in independent accommodation.

”She hopes to get some work in the care industry and get her NVQ. This is a woman who has perhaps turned her life around in more recent times.”

Howard – who now owes the DWP more than £5,000, which will be taken out of her weekly benefits – was told by JPs she ”would face a much harsher sentence” should she go to the toilet without getting permission from the magistrates as it would be classed as ”escaping custody”.

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