A benefit scrounger who has fallen pregnant for the 12th time claimed SHE is being victimised – despite being moved into a rent-free £300,000 house.
Jobless Joanne Sheppard, 36, and partner Gary Bateman, 46, are believed to rake in £30,000-a-year in benefits to raise their massive brood.
They have been moved from their previous council house into a five-bedroomed detached property in Staple Hill, Bristol. The £1,200-a-month rent is paid for by the council.
But despite her taxpayer-funded lifestyle, Sheppard claims HER family are the victims and has threatened to sue her neighbours for slander.
She said: ”I feel we have been victimised. We’re having another baby, so what?
”People ought to just leave me alone. I don’t care what people think of me.
”I did not want to move out of Yate but it’s fine now – I love my new house.
”Why can’t everyone just leave us alone – it’s not like we are on drugs or alcohol.
”I just can’t understand what all the fuss is about. It’s just not fair.”
Sheppard, who currently has 11 children by three men, has not worked for 19 years after she fell pregnant with her first child aged just 17.
Her offspring with Bateman, who has also fathered children with other women, range from a son of 17 to a baby of eight months.
She added: ”My job is looking after my kids until they are old enough to look after themselves. Then I will go out and get a job.
”I think looking after kids – especially two with ADHD – is the hardest job. If you stayed here and looked after my kids you would want to go straight back to work.”
Sheppard believes her neighbours are victimising her by tipping off the press about her scrounging.
”My husband is fuming about this,” she stormed. ”I don’t talk to my neighbours and they don’t have the bottle to knock on my door and talk to my face.
”It’s selfish. Do they understand what all this is putting my kids through?
”Some are old enough to understand what is going on and it gets around their school.”
The pair receive hundreds in benefits every month by claiming £20.30 for their oldest child and £13.40 for their children up to the age of 18.
They could also be eligible for a Guardian’s Allowance of £14.30 a week per child.
Bateman also claims £89.80 a week incapacity benefits for a bad back – despite being exposed in 2009 for taking part in off-road motocross biking.
Until January this year the couple lived in a three-bedroom house in Yate, Bristol, provided by South Gloucestershire District Council.
But the council has now moved them to a spacious privately-rented home in suburban Staple Hill, Bristol.
Since the move Sheppard has fallen pregnant again and is expected to give birth to her 12th child at the end of the year.
Gary previously boasted how the new arrival meant they could ‘have their own football team’.
He said: ”People should mind their own business. We’re not doing anyone any harm. It’s a nice place.
”We outgrew the last house. It was a bit of a nightmare being on top of each other.”
Fiona McEvoy, spokeswoman for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, believes the case highlights the need for ”real reform” of the benefits system.
She said: ”It’s disgraceful that this family is being given more than taxpayers earn. Our benefits system needs real reform.”