Jail for Father Who Invented a Family of 16 in [Pounds Sterling]75,000 Benefits Swindle; David Wilshaw and Nancy Stevenson: He Bragged of Doing a Public Service
Byline: Luke Salkeld
A MAN who invented 16 children to claim [pounds sterling]75,000 in benefit payments wasjailed yesterday.
David Wilshaw, 58, and his partner Nancy Stevenson, 59, took the money after hefabricated a huge family over a four-year period.
The idea for the fraud was born after the pair applied for tax credits for twoof Stevenson's children and realised that nobody asked to see birthcertificates or any other proof of their existence.
Wilshaw then went on to make up the names of 16 children, pocketing more than[pounds sterling]400 a week.
Bristol Crown Court heard Wilshaw spent more than that amount every week inbetting shops, while Steven- 'Adopting or fostering'
son admitted drinking two bottles of brandy a day. When he was finallyarrested, Wilshaw bragged that he was 'doing a public service' by exposing theloophole in the benefits system.
Yesterday he was sentenced to 20 months in prison after admitting fraud,handling stolen goods and obtaining property by deception.
Stevenson avoided jail after it was said she had played a 'lesser role' andthat Wilshaw had transferred just [pounds sterling]9,000 of the money into her account.
She admitted one charge of money laundering and a further charge of tax creditfraud and was given a 12- month supervised community order.
The court heard that Wilshaw, who received [pounds sterling]113-a-week income support, hatchedthe plot after claiming child tax credits for his partner's children, neitherof whom was living at the couple's home in Weston-super- Mare, Somerset. …