Rumbled on Facebook: Convicted Single Mum Benefit Cheat

In the current economic climate we all find the cost of living a heavy cross to bear, however whilst the large majority of us get stuck into the daily grind to amass a lonely wage in which to feed our families, others see fit to play the system by fraudulently giving false details to acquire benefits of which are not owing to them. There are of course the chosen few that whilst exploiting the system are quite blasé about it, and this is where they will in the end fall down.

A lady by the name of Hazel Cunningham, 47, from Ashford Kent is today having to pay back £15,000 in benefits that she has fraudulently claimed. Cunningham who claimed to be single but actually living with new husband Paul and 2 children, was receiving maternity pay from her employer. She was found to be cheating the system as the reported, on social networking site Facebook after posting her Barbados wedding photos on there.

The 47 year old was reported to be living comfortably and whereas many of us enjoy just the one holiday a year, Cunningham was going away at least 3 times a year to destinations such as Kenya. According to the Press Association, this is not the first time that Cunningham has cheated on others. Back in 2009, she was prosecuted due to not telling the relevant agencies that she was in fact working. At the same time she was claiming some £21,000 in housing, incapacity and council tax benefits.

Regarding this latest episode, she was found guilty and will be jailed for 120 days as well as now having to repay the £15,000 back.

Following on from this Peter Wood, leader for Ashford Council said, “This case is another success for the council who work tirelessly to ensure that the honest taxpayers of the Ashford borough are not defrauded.”

Do you think its fair that the justice system allows the use of social networking sites such as Facebook to clamp down on these benefit cheats?