The mother of ex-singer and reality television star Kerry Katona has walked free from court but been warned against further benefit fraud offences.Anyone wondering why we have a problem with people living their whole life on benefits (and also wondering if the government’s much-vaunted ‘crackdown’ will ever materialise) should take a good, hard look at this case.
Susan Katona, 48, of Dickinson Street, Warrington, Cheshire, admitted wrongly claiming income support and council tax benefit at an earlier hearing.
She had claimed that she had little income or capital despite having more than £46,000 in the bank.
Katona was given a conditional discharge at Runcorn Magistrates Court.Rip off the taxpayer and receive no punishment. Welcome to the UK in 2008. Even better, they didn’t charge her with the full offence either:
Under the terms of a conditional discharge an offender receives no punishment provided that no further offence is committed within a period set by the court.
Katona admitted two counts of benefits fraud from July 2006 to March last year.Must have been a ‘multi-buy’ deal…
She wrongly claimed income support and council tax benefit totalling £6,393, but the charges only covered a period which saw her keep £3,342.
Sentencing her to an 18-month conditional discharge, district judge Bridget Knight said: "I note that you suffer from depression and are receiving medication for that.‘Broken the back’ of her ‘agoraphobia’….? She only came to court (after failing to appear on a previous occasion) because she was summonsed! And she gets credit for it from the judge! You truly couldn’t make it up!
"Leaving your house to come to court must have been a huge step - I hope you have broken the back of what's been keeping you inside for the last two years and some good can come out of it."
It’s only a wonder he didn’t hand her a few quid from the poorbox too…