Web of sick lies meant children even had SURGERY they didn’t need
A SICK mum is facing jail after getting her son to pretend he had AUTISM Spectrum, and tricking doctors into carrying out unnecessary medical procedures on her young kids so she could claim benefits.
The 48-year old also falsely claimed more than £375,000 in disability benefits during the decade-long case of Munchausen by proxy – which sees parents or carers fabricate or exaggerate medical conditions.
She was found guilty of fraud and child cruelty at Croydon Crown Court on Monday.
The jury heard that over the course of at least ten years, the mother took her young son and daughter to various doctors, health and education professionals.
She maintained that they suffered from serious health problems and a series of symptoms, which ranged from severe asthma, autism Spectrum, urology problems and gastric complications.
As a result her healthy children underwent invasive medical treatment, including SURGERY to have gastronomy tubes fitted to their stomachs, enabling them to be fed through a tube – despite the fact that both children were perfectly able to eat normally.
Steroids were also given to her son despite him not displaying the signs of “severe” asthma as the woman insisted and he did not have the chronic wheezing and breathlessness she reported to doctors when he was at school.
The vile woman also encouraged her son to pretend he had symptoms of autism Spectrum and stopped the child’s nursery from toilet training him.
But despite her description of behaviours he displayed at home, none of the traits were witnessed at school.
As a result of the fabricated illnesses she received £87,500 in Disability Living Allowance, between October 2003 and February 2014.
Despite living with her partner, who was earning up to £38,000 a year, she also falsely claimed Income Support benefit.
As a result she falsely claimed benefits of more than £375,000.
Detectives went to her home in May 2013 and arrested the woman and her partner for child cruelty and neglect.
During a search of the property, police discovered a large amount of unused prescribed medication including asthma drugs, nappies and gastro milk and feeding equipment – worth a whopping £146,000 to the taxpayer-funded NHS.
She was found guilty of four counts of cruelty to a person under 16, two counts of obtaining money transfer by deception, seven counts of making a false representation and two counts of fraud by false representation.
The conviction follows a three-year investigation by detectives from the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command.
Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Stuart Parsons, said: “This truly was a complex investigation, where the evidence we painstaking gathered has resulted in the jury convicting a woman who committed cruelty against her own children for financial gain.
“The investigation was meticulous and detailed, and in order to prove the offences we looked at all aspects of the family, their lifestyle and their financial, medical and education history.
“The level of detail required would not have been possible if it were not for the multi-agency work that took place between the police and other partner agencies such as social services, the local education authority, the Department for Work and Pensions and a number of healthcare providers including local care at home teams.
“One hundred and fourteen witnesses provided evidence for the prosecution, including a number of experts who interpreted complex medical and psychological information for the court to consider.
“It is staggering to think that the mother’s wilful actions resulted in the children undergoing unnecessary surgical and medical interventions.
“She lied at every opportunity, presenting herself as a lone parent coping with ill and vulnerable children.
“The reality was that she resided with her partner and fabricated her children’s conditions for personal financial gain.
“I am pleased she has been convicted today and now faces a considerable term of imprisonment.”
The woman will be sentenced on August 15 at the same court.