A shameless mum was spared jail after she blew £124,000 of her disabled daughter’s benefits – on BINGO and designer CLOTHES.
Julie Smith, 46, received the money which was intended to help her care for daughter Hayley, 25, who suffers from cerebral palsy which has left her unable to walk or talk.
Between 2006 and 2012 she received #124,536 in disability benefits which was intended to pay for day centre trips and specialist equipment for Hayley.
But instead, Smith blew the cash on internet bingo, gambling, weekend mini-breaks, designer clothes, her 30-a-day cigarette habit and regular trips to the pub.
On Tuesday Smith was slapped with a two year community order and ordered to carry out 80 hours unpaid work after she admitted theft at Birmingham Crown Court.
Sentencing her, Judge Patrick Thomas QC told her: “The figures here are enormous.
“The plain position is that you received money intended for the benefit of your daughter.
“You spent it in ludicrous ways, sometimes on internet gambling and also on luxuries you appreciated far more than your daughter did, as if the money was part of your own state benefit.
“You plainly knew what you were doing.
“The principle concern of the court must be for your daughter.”
Shockingly, brazen Smith, of Castle Vale, Birmingham, yesterday (Wed) denied she had done anything wrong and insisted: “I’m not a bad parent.”
She whined: “I am a gambling addict. Caring for Hayley is full-on and I needed an escape. You want to switch off.
“But I’m not a bad parent. I love Hayley, she is my world. She’s never gone without.”
Smith, who also has a 17-year-old son with ADHD, began siphoning her disabled daughter’s cash in 2006.
But she was caught when Birmingham City Council changed its policies and staff realised the money had not been accounted for.
She moaned: “They wanted receipts and I didn’t have them.
“I don’t think Hayley knows what has gone on.
“I haven’t much of a family – about half don’t know about it.
“The money didn’t just go on me, it went on the whole family.
“It didn’t go on holidays or luxuries like that.
“I smoke 20 to 30-a-day and I hardly drink or go out.
“But I admit I did wrong and I want to say sorry to social services for that. The money was there and I got into a habit.”
Smith also blamed internet betting sites for her addiction, saying: “It’s too easy to get sucked in.”
Shameless Smith boasted on her Facebook page about drinking sessions at the pub while moaning about being bored at home.
On May 24 this year she wrote: “Hi ho of to the pub I go.”
Days earlier on May 18, she whinged: “Another boring day stuck in the house. Mite (sic) just get my self ready an go the pub.”
An overweight man who answered the door at her home yesterday said: “Julie’s down nothing wrong, she’s a hard working mum who needed a break from all the cr*p in her life so spent the money on herself. So what?”
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