8th of June 2013 Author: Glo Wood
A mother steals money from her disabled daughter and doesn't see the problem. She took over £100k of her daughter's money and spent in on bingo and weekend getaways for herself.
Julie Smith, 46, stole £124,536 from her 25-year-old daughter Hayley blaming it all on bingo. According to this woman, it was her release from caring for her daughter all the time.
The Birmingham Crown Court heard the case involving Hayley who suffers from cerebral palsy and is unable to walk or talk. She was granted benefits for her car and specialist equipment among other things.
Smith said: 'I am a gambling addict. Caring for Hayley is full-on and I needed and 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.'
The Birmingham City Council figured something was up when Hayley's benefits we unaccounted for.
Smith said: '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 is require to do 80 hours of work unpaid.
Judge Patrick Thomas 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.'
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