Gran's Gay Claim Was Bid to Hide Pounds 20k Fraud
A married grandmother, who pocketed almost pounds 20,000 in benefits by claiming she lived alone, told investigators she was gay to avoid detection, a court heard yesterday.
Yvonne Butler, 53, of Penlan, Swansea, was living with her husband, Islwyn, who paid the mortgage on the home in his wife's name. The couple went to Spain on holiday together in 2005, despite Butler saying they were estranged.
She narrowly escaped jail because of fears of the effect it would have on the grandson she is bringing up.
Swansea Crown Court heard Butler had got the family finances into such a mess that her home has been repossessed. Butler admitted fraudulently claiming income support and council tax benefits amounting to pounds 19,750 at a previous hearing.
Carl Harrison, prosecuting, said Butler had begun making claims in July 2003. Later that year she was interviewed and claimed she was gay. In January 2006 she was interviewed and questioned about where her husband lived.
"She claimed she was gay and in the process of having a divorce," Mr Harrison told the court. He said Butler was put under surveillance which "showed her husband was living with her". …