A TRAINEE police officer’s mum was involved in an eight year, £30,000 benefits scam.
Julie Squires, 50, invented a fictional character who she claimed was the landlord of her home in Princess Street, Dewsbury.
Howard Shaw, prosecuting, said Squires told a ‘complete lie’ to conceal the fact that the owner of the property was a friend who also lived at the address with her.
Squires deception meant she was able to claim housing benefit of £30,200 between 2002 and 2010. She told authorities that she was a single parent and a self-employed entertainer with limited earnings.
The court hear Squires created false tenancy documents and lied on reviews.
The deception came to light following a tip-off that she was not entitled to the benefits. Squires later admitted in interview that she had created the fictitious landlord.
She said the man she lived with had mental health problems and she looked after him. Squires pleaded guilty to six offences of making false representation to obtain benefits.
Kama Melly, mitigating, said Squires’ 17-year-old son was at police training college and the partners of both her daughters were also serving police officers. She said Squires was remorseful for the shame she had brought on her family.
The barrister said: “He is absolutely furious that his mother is in this situation. Her son is now not likely to finish college because of the shame he feels about his mother being before the crown court.”
The court heard Squires was in poor health and awaiting surgery for two separate conditions.
Ms Melly said the offences started after Squires became separated from her husband, had a poor credit rating and was in debt.
Judge Scott Wolstenholme gave Squires a 10 month jail sentence, suspended for two years, 150 hours unpaid work and made her the subject of a six month supervision order.