Beverley ‘too fat’ Douglas fraudster goes free

Posted: October 22, 2011 in Law & Disorder

First she was too fat for court so they found a bigger court, then she was too ill for court so they postponed court appearance now she is too ill for prison, unbelievable.

An overweight benefit cheat Beverley Douglas was declared too ill for jail yesterday (fri).

IlieClinically obese Beverley Douglas, 44, had jobs as a CCTV operator and a bus driver which earned her a salary of around £16,000 but she carried on raking in benefit handouts for five years.

Douglas, a mother of four, collected £34,000 in benefits.

The judge, Mr Recorder Humfrey Malins, yes that is his real name I haven’t made it up, gave her a six months in jail suspended for two years after hearing she has been suffering from serious heart problems.

He tried to impose an electronically monitored curfew but changed that to doorstep police checks after hearing the tag could not be attached around her ankle because she is so overweight. At least he could have suspended the sentence on the condition she loses weight.

Problem with this decision is it sets a precedent, (and I don’t mean Barack Obama either), fat criminals can’t be sent to prison but surely Douglas going to prison would have made her lose weight thus making her healthier the judge would have been doing her a favour sending her to prison

Sporting orange-rimmed sunglasses which the fraudster claimed were because of diabetes, Douglas was allowed to sit on a chair in the well of the court because her size also made it difficult for her to get into the dock.

Here’s the nitty gritty if you haven’t been following the case.

On her first appearance at Inner London Crown Court in May, she refused to enter the old-fashioned Court One.

She told officials she could not climb the stairs to the narrow secure doorway leading to the dock of the Edwardian oak-panelled courtroom.

Then when her case went to a more suitable court she didn’t attend because she happened to be in hospital claiming a heart attack.

Yesterday after parking her red £18,000 Dodge Avenger outside, she walked with a frame to a more modern courtroom without stairs.

Eileen Sproson, prosecuting, said Douglas claimed £17,071.85 of Income Support from the Department of Work and Pensions, and from Croydon Council £15,930.38 Housing Benefit and £1,787.99 Council Tax Benefit.

She started claiming Income Support in 2002 but in March 2004 failed to declare she had got a job.

She was working as a CCTV operator.

She failed to notify the Department of Work and Pensions that she was working and this would have affected her entitlement.

She also failed to notify them that between 24th January 2005 and 11th October 2007 she was working full-time as a bus driver. Obviously not too fat to sit in the driving cab.

She made a claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit to Croydon Council on March 29th 2006 and between April 10th 2006 and October 14th 2007 she received an overpayment of £8,896.39.

On July 4th 2008 Douglas submitted a bogus tenancy agreement to claim Housing Benefit for 38 Dunbar Avenue, Norbury.

She faked the landlord’s signature on that document and did the same in relation to a second, the neighbouring property at number 40.

The benefit was paid direct to her bank account regularly but she was not living at either address.

Between then and February 26th, 2009 she received another £8,821.98.

Total overpayment being £34,790.22.

A routine tax audit flagged up the discrepancy and she was charged last year.

Douglas, from Thornton Heath, south London, admitted nine counts of making a false representation and two of dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances between March 15, 2004 and February 26, 2009.

She denied two charges of making a false representation and she was cleared by the judge, after the prosecution offered no evidence.

  1. Sapphire says:

    Why am I not surprised. I guess no prison would take her, she’s clearly a liability and anything happen to her and they’d be in trouble. It makes a mockery of the law, though. All that money spent on her three appearances at court including solicitors fees and court costs and she gets off scot free. She’s probably gone off to complete her disability claim form as we speak.

  2. Howard Thomas says:

    What is it with our judges these days? She did it , she meant to do it . Who cares if she is fat.
    Just lock her up and to hell with whether she likes it or not.
    Thats our money shes stealing !!!

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