Grandma on benefits hid her Spanish villa

A BRITISH woman, who claimed nearly £40,000 in benefits while renting out a Spanish villa secretly, has avoided jail.

Sally Folan, a 63-year-old great-grandmother, failed to disclose the property while claiming thousands in Jobseekers Allowance.

Hove Crown Court heard how she and her husband, Noel, had moved to Spain from Worthing “for a better life”.

They sold their Sussex home in 2002, and bought the Spanish villa in Murcia for 120,000 euros.

But her husband, a builder, struggled to find work there, following the 2008 economy crash, and they were forced to return to the UK to claim benefits.

But Mrs Folan failed, for three years, to tell the authorities about her home in El Puerto De Mazarrón.

Martha Walsh, prosecuting, said she had claimed £39,462.59, fraudulently, before the authorities discovered she had the Murcia home.

Miss Walsh added: “Her claim was fraudulent at the outset, perpetuated for a significant time, and there were a number of occasions on which she could have set the record straight.”

Kevin Light, defending, argued that the great-grandma was of previously good character, and had admitted her guilt at the first opportunity.

Judge Jeremy Gold QC sentenced Mrs Folan to eight months in prison, suspended for two years.

She was also handed 100 hours of unpaid work, and warned that she would face jail if she failed to comply.

She will also be subject to a hearing, to establish how she can repay the sum and has already begun paying £50 per month towards it.

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Posted by on Feb 23 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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