Bingo Caller and Benefits Thief Faces Sentencing

A woman working as a bingo caller fraudulently claimed over £60,000 in disability benefits was given jail time on Friday.

Sophe Stefferson, 58, of Wales, made false claims of being unable to walk 30 yards outdoors and the need for someone to check in on her on her regularly. Over the course of eight years, she managed to claim £60,637.39 in benefits. She also made claims that she suffered from asthma attacks and trouble breathing resulting in difficulty getting out of bed, bathing, dressing and housework.

Despite all this, Stefferson was working as a bingo caller at Top Ten Bingo since February 2001.

Stefferson fraudulently claimed additional benefits including £681.59 in income support between February 2, 2005 and August 7, 2009, £24,785.96 worth of incapacity benefits from April 6, 2003 to July 28, 2009, £3,703.88 in council tax benefits between April 1, 2003 and August 16, 2009 and £13,489.71 in housing benefits between April 7, 2003 and August 16, 2009.

Stefferson made a full confession during her 2009 interview and said she would have done so sooner but "could not pluck up the courage."

During Stefferson's sentencing, David Miller said, "You had eight long years to show your remorse and you didn't. It only stopped when you were caught."

She will serve eight months in prison and has repaid £541.06 to date.

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