Mum claimed benefits for amputee son even though he was in jail

A MUM claimed carers allowance for her amputee son at the same time police were investigating him as part of a major drugs ring.

Blackburn magistrates heard Mohammed Irfan Patel was eventually jailed for nine years for his part in the conspiracy.

But his mum continued claiming the maximum 35 hours a week allowance on the basis he was unable to dress or feed himself.

Gotari Patel, 57, of Mandela Court, Wimberley Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances which affected her entitlement to benefits.

She was made subject to an electronically-monitored curfew between 7pm and 7am for eight weeks and ordered to pay £85 costs and £85 victim surcharge.

Charlotte Crane, prosecuting, said the police investigation into a major drugs conspiracy covered a three-year period between 2008 and 2011.

The defendant started claiming for her son towards the end of that period.

He was eventually jailed for nine years in August 2013 and the claim continued until 2017, resulting in an overpayment of £7,000.

“While he was drug dealing she was claiming 35 hours a week on the basis he was severely disabled and couldn’t even dress or feed himself,” said Miss Crane.

“When the claim started he was under police surveillance as part of a four-year operation.”

Ben Leech, defending, said when her son was sent to prison he told her he had spoken to probation and they were going to stop his benefits claim.

“The money was paid into her husband’s bank account and not hers but she accepts she should have been more proactive and checked the payments had stopped,” said Mr Leech.

“She is very remorseful.”

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