Shock prison honeymoon for newlywed

23 February 2011

This may be the turkey she visited three times. Although it was before Christmas...

Facebook is one of those quite popular new-fangled social media things isn’t it? In fact it’s so popular that quite a few people have heard of it. Including the taxman.

Now, Facebook has been the downfall of one particular lady, whose holiday snaps showing her cavorting on her jollies in Turkey and pictures of her Barbados wedding have landed her in the big house for benefit fraud.

Not only did Ashford Borough Council consider that Hazel Cunningham’s £170 a week income support, council tax and housing benefit insufficient to support a three-times a year Turkish holiday habit, but the photos of the 47 year old’s wedding also belied her claims to be a single mother.

Ms Cunningham was sentenced to 120 days in prison and ordered to repay the overclaimed benefits totalling £15,000. A Council spokesman said that "the message is clear: people who commit benefit fraud will be caught."

Er yes. And they will be caught twice it seems. The very same Hazel Cunningham was prosecuted for benefit fraud in 2009, and ordered to repay £21,000 of incapacity and other benefits. No details are yet available as to whether the Facebook photos of her pole-dancing while suffering from a bad back were instrumental in the previous case…

[Press Association]

TOPICS:   Social Media   Scams


  • Dick
    In cases like this, the council should own the woman until she has paid back her debt. Maybe they could pimp her out at a tenner a pop until she has paid back the money she stole.
  • Russ
    So the thieving slag steals from the taxpayer and he benefits just resume as normal. Any benefits thief should have no such entitlement to any more benefits for the rest of their life
  • Sonia
    Maybe people should concentrate on the bigger picture. "At £30 billion per year, fraud in the UK is more than twice as high as thought, with tax evasion costing the public purse over £15 billion per year and benefit fraud just over £1 billion." National Fraud Authority, 2008
  • Mark C.
    Clearly the emphasis in Cunningham isn't on 'cunning' in this case.
  • See t.
    Mark C I'm not sure I follow you - are you saying that the emphasis is on the 'ham'? Mmmmm Ham Mmmmm Sausage Mmmmm Bacon Mmmmm Mattersons
  • Cheapskate
    @Sonia, that's total fraud. DWP say loss due to benefit fraud is: For 2009/10, it is estimated that 2.1 per cent, or £3.1bn, of total benefit expenditure was overpaid due to fraud and error.

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