A shameless mother has been jailed after she fiddled £26,000 in benefits for her four kids – even though they were in CARE.
Caroline Laybourn, 37, started receiving income support and child tax credit in 2006, but kept claiming when four of her five children were taken from her in 2011.
Drug user Laybourn – whose fifth child has also since been taken into care – was jailed for 16 weeks for fraudulently claiming the cash between June 2011 and May last year.
Sentencing her at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court, chairman of the bench Nigel Guerin, said: “We are going to sent you to custody. The reason is because of the prolonged period of time and the amount.
“It is a lot of money and you knew each time you received a payment that it shouldn’t be going to you.”
Mitigating, Laura Miller said Laybourn did not tell the council because she thought she would get her children back and had now been drug-free for six weeks.
She said she was a carer for her ill partner and added: “At the time the children were taken into care her lifestyle was quite chaotic. She started suffering from depression and anxiety and she was also put on some medication.”
Laybourn, of Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to two charges of dishonestly failing to disclose information to make a gain for herself and five charges of fraud by false representation.