Wirral benefit fraudster Carla Thompson spared jail

A WOMAN who fraudulently claimed nearly £20,000 in benefits was spared jail.

At Liverpool Crown Court, Carla Thompson, 31, admitted claiming income support and council tax relief that she wasn’t entitled to for more than three years.

But Judge David Harris, QC, told Thompson, of Kirkfield Grove, Birkenhead, he was not going to send her to prison because of the debilitating spinal condition she suffers from which requires her to have constant treatment and operations.

The court heard Thompson was living with partner David Essam, but had been telling the state she lived alone.

That entitled her to benefits she otherwise couldn’t have claimed, because Mr Essam was earning a wage that was being paid straight into the same account as the benefit payments.

Christopher Williams, defending, said the total amount of benefit claimed was £19,680, but, had Thompson claimed properly, she would have been entitled to around £5,000 of that amount legally, bringing down the fraudulent claim to just shy of £15,000. He said his client was now making arrangements to pay the money back.

Judge Harris told her: “You knew exactly what you were doing.

“We all suffer from the totality of fraudulent claims for benefits. The cost to the state is enormous.”

Thompson was given a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to undertake a 12- month supervision order with a programme to address financial management.