Mom Steals £124,000 From Disabled Daughter

Mom Steals  £124,000 From Disabled DaughterA mom in the UK was spared a jail sentence after she stole £124,000 from her disabled daughter’s benefits and spent the money on online bingo and designer clothes. Julie Smith, 46, was given a large amount of taxpayer money to help her care for her daughter Haley who has cerebral palsy and cannot walk or talk. Between 2006 and 2012 Smith received the disability benefits that were intended for day care and specialist trips for Haley. Instead Smith squandered the cash on weekend trips, online bingo, gambling, designer clothes and used some of the money to finance her 30 a day cigarette habit and trips to a local pub.

In court Smith received a two year community order (Probation) and was ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid community service. Sentencing Judge Patrick Thomas told Smith “The figures here are enormous. The plain position is that you received money intended for the benefit of your daughter. You spent it in ludicrous ways, sometimes on internet gambling and also on luxuries you appreciated far more than your daughter did, as if the money was part of your own state benefit. You plainly knew what you were doing. The principle concern of the court must be for your daughter.”

Smith displayed a singular lack of remorse and denied she had done anything wrong. Smith said “I’m not a bad parent.” Ever the whiner Smith stated “I am a gambling addict. Caring for Hayley is full-on and I needed an escape. You want to switch off. But I’m not a bad parent. I love Hayley, she is my world. She’s never gone without.” Smith also has a 17 year old son who has been diagnosed with ADHD. She started stealing the funds in 2006. Smith told reporters “The money didn’t just go on me, it went on the whole family. It didn’t go on holidays or luxuries like that. I smoke 20 to 30-a-day and I hardly drink or go out. But I admit I did wrong and I want to say sorry to social services for that. The money was there and I got into a habit.”

Smith was finally caught when the council changed its policies and realized that the funds had not been accounted for. Smith said “They wanted receipts and I didn’t have them. I don’t think Hayley knows what has gone on. I haven’t much of a family– about half don’t know about it.”

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