‘Single mother’ benefit cheat guilty of £75k fraud

A mother-of-one who pretended she was single in order to falsely claim more than £75,000 in benefits over 13 years was today handed a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years following an investigation by Leeds City Council.

Roselyn Wadkin of Low Grange View, Belle Isle, pleaded guilty to falsely claiming £74,894.01 in housing benefit, council tax benefit and income support after stating she lived alone – despite having lived with her partner, Stephen Morley, since 1998.

At Leeds Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday 30 April) the judge handed Wadkin a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and an order to complete a 50 day programme to address her behaviour.

Following an anonymous tip-off Leeds City Council started an investigation into claims that 55 year old Wadkin was not single, and her partner Stephen Morley not only lived with her, but was in full time work throughout this time.

A joint investigation by the council and the Department for Work and Pensions then discovered Wadkin had received overpayments of £28,953 in housing and Council Tax benefit and £45,849 in income support, totalling £74,894. All the money fraudulently claimed will have to be paid back.

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said:“Fraudulently claiming benefits is taking money away from those genuinely in need.

“We will always do our best to help those who need our help, but we will not hesitate to act when people take advantage for their own gain.”

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk