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Benefits cheat mum-of-six from Cheltenham stole £40,000

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 25, 2013

By LAURA CHURCHILL

Comments (25)

BENEFITS cheat Trudy Nelder has avoided a prison sentence, despite stealing more than £40,000 of taxpayers' money.

The mum-of-six failed to tell the Department of Work and Pensions her husband was living with her and working at Cheltenham Borough Council, so that she could continue claiming benefits.

Nelder, 41, falsely claimed a total of £40,294.79 between January 12, 2009 and August 2, 2011. She was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, with supervision, after admitting dishonestly obtaining the money the hearing at Gloucester Crown Court was told.

Nelder, of Lynworth Place, Cheltenham, was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work.

Prosecutor Fiona Dacosta told the court Nelder's husband Jeffrey was working at Cheltenham Borough Council while living with her.

Nelder had told the police her husband was a violent man and she wanted a divorce when questioned by officers, Ms Dacosta said.

Joe Maloney, defending Nelder, said her husband was a controlling man and she was looking after the six children, aged between 19 and nine, on her own.

He said: "She has no previous convictions and is in a financial mess. She is already being threatened by bailiffs.

"She is in debt and she has just buried her head in the sand on this."

Recorder Michael Selfe told her: "You have admitted to stealing £40,000 of public money. You knew perfectly well what you were doing and you carried on until you were caught. I have considered a custodial sentence may have an impact on the care of children, but there is a limit to how far you can rely on problems with child care."

He added: "I have, however, come to the conclusion I can suspend this sentence and you should understand that if you commit any further offence of any sort you will go to prison immediately."

OPINION, P8

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25 comments

  • Matt1006  |  February 25 2013, 6:09PM

    Guilty of stealing £40k of taxpayer's money. Except it wasn't "our" money, it belonged to the Government. It's not "ours" once we've paid it / had it deducted at source. Therefore the fact that the majority of honest tax-payers would like to see this ill-gotten amount repaid is of no interest to the Government. And as there appears to be no requirement via the courts for the money to be repaid, do we assume the Government are writing it off as a total loss...??? Yet another benefits thief brought to book (good), but then allowed to keep the money. Theft certainly does pay - to the tune of £40k today, but that figure will change again in the near future, when the next thief appears in court. She's admitted it (i.e. was told to plead guilty by her legal representative, to get a reduced sentence), but the punishment handed out is a joke. She's held her hands up, having been caught, but she still did it. Guilty, yes. Sorry? Only that she got caught.

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  • bonnie54  |  February 25 2013, 3:04PM

    Sorry for the duplication! my computer threw a wobbly and went completely dead! as my post was still on here, I assumed that it hadn't been posted!

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  • bonnie54  |  February 25 2013, 3:03PM

    Unbelievable! this is now an invitation for many other people do the same, knowing they will get away with it! I got caught speeding (not intentionally).I was accelerating up a hill & the police were hiding over the brow of it, catching people whilst they were doing so. It was taken to the magistrates court, then crown court & I was fined £175 (was more but I got it 'reduced' as I am on incapacity benefit,) & 4 points on my licence (which had been clean for all my 38 years of driving). The law truly is an a--!

    Rate   2
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  • TIMONLINE2010  |  February 25 2013, 1:54PM

    I agree that prison wasn't a sensible solution but 200 hours of community service? Why not 2000?!

    Rate   6
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  • thomas1996  |  February 25 2013, 1:34PM

    It makes you wonder why most of us go to work, clearly having a load of children means you can get away with people at DWP believing you can't work, so you get your monthly rent fully paid, monthly council tax fully paid, maybe income support or Job Squeakers Allowance, free prescriptions, and then you get a nice top up by getting child benefit for each of them, child tax credits (free cash) WHY WORK & pay TAX???????????????????

    Rate   10
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  • bonnie54  |  February 25 2013, 1:32PM

    Unbelievable! this is now an invitation for many other people do the same, knowing they will get away with it! I got caught speeding (not intentionally).I was accelerating up a hill & the police were hiding over the brow of it, catching people whilst they were doing so. It was taken to the magistrates court, then crown court & I was fined £175 (was more but I got it 'reduced' as I am on incapacity benefit,) & 4 points on my licence (which had been clean for all my 38 years of driving). The law truly is an a--!

    Rate   5
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  • supernova1  |  February 25 2013, 1:15PM

    NGlos................classy.... You have just one thing in your rant that is correct, yes, I am right wing. I am however, none of the following; 'ignorant, naive, biggoted (sic)' Your posting concentrates on just one very small part of my two comments, so I'm assuming that the rest you think is correct, although you haven't ranted about them, but there's plenty of time yet. Unfortunately I have to correct you for a second time, in that I have not said; 'all benefits claimants are "Scroungers"'. I actualy said, 'There are thousands of benefits cheats, and millions of benefit scroungers'.

    Rate   3
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  • NGlos  |  February 25 2013, 12:40PM

    Supernova1 You are an ignorant, naive, biggoted fool. Get your facts straight before coming out with your right wing cr*p. Try putting the Daily Mail down for once and read a more subjective paper. Your sweeping generalisation that all benefits claimants are "Scroungers" makes me sick, you and people like you are everything that is wrong with society.

    Rate   -9
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  • supernova1  |  February 25 2013, 12:02PM

    Lecorche........see what you you are saying, but you're doing the maths like an accountant. If we based all judicial decisions on monetary value, virtually no-one would go to jail. We have to face it as a democratic civilised society, that there is good and bad. Overwhelmingly good outweighs bad, but that bad element not only has to be deterred from bad things, but also the rest of society has to be protected. This obviously has a cost, but it is one we must all be prepared to bear. Otherwise crime will filter down from adults to more and more minors, and I for one don't want to be telling my children not to have children of their own, as they will be possibly become targets for criminal adults or children.

    Rate   4
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  • MarkC11  |  February 25 2013, 11:57AM

    Supernova, £40k is perfectly possible over that period f you include Housing Benefit, Council Tax benefit, Child Tax Credits, etc.

    Rate   5
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