'Death' Scam Lands Mother in Prison for Benefits Fraud

Article excerpt

Byline: By Mike Jones Western Mail

A woman who had previously pretended she was dead to avoid a speeding ticket, has now been jailed for pretending her husband had died so she would receive more benefits cash.

Glenda Askew, 48, posed as a grieving widow after claiming husband Ian had been "tragically killed". Askew lived the lie for eight years when she was falsely paid more than pounds 11,000 in housing benefits and council tax.

A court heard she was challenged by officials about the mystery man living in her home but Askew pretended he was her brother staying for a holiday.

Adrian Jeremiah, prosecuting, said "cross-checks" revealed the pair lived together for eight years and had even moved home together.

He said, "She failed to declare that Ian had been living with her at those addresses throughout the time of her claim starting in 1999.

"When the Department for Work and Pensions caught up with her, she continued to deny the couple lived together.

"In one letter, she stated that her husband had been tragically killed the week before.

"In another letter, she claimed her husband was, in fact, her brother."

Magistrates in Swansea heard Askew had falsely received a total of pounds 11,604.

Nick Stallard, defending, said Askew started making benefit claims when her husband left her - claiming she was living as a single woman.

He said, "She was undergoing a quite tumultuous period in her life.

"But once he had returned she did not change the details of her benefit claims."

He claimed Askew, who also goes by her married name of Bootyman, now wishes she, and not her husband, was dead.

Mr Stallard said, "As a result of these proceedings, she informs me she has twice tried to commit suicide."

Askew of Maytree Close, Clase, near Swansea, admitted 17 offences of failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions of a change in her circumstances. …