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Woman jailed for claiming welfare in cancer scam

Published on Nov 14, 2012 6:13 AM

LONDON (AFP) - A British court on Tuesday jailed a woman who shaved her son's head as part of a bid to convince welfare officials that he had cancer.

The woman, from Gloucestershire in south-west England, claimed extra benefits for her son for three years when he was aged six to eight, Gloucester Crown Court heard. She admitted one count of child cruelty, eight counts of fraud and one of forgery by faking doctors' letters in order to claim £85,899.44 (S$166,686) in benefits.

Judge Jamie Tabor told the 36-year-old, who cannot be named: "You shaved his head and paraded him in public as a victim of cancer.

"I have no doubt that there have been periods in your life when you have been unwell but also I have no doubt that you have all but lost the ability to tell the truth." The court also heard that the boy was placed in a wheelchair while on holiday in the US in order to jump queues at a theme park.