not to be overjoyed that a mother of four is being sent to jail for massive benefit fraud?

(219 Posts)

story here

I just wonder what will happen to the children in this case. The crime Amanda Webber committed is serious and she should be punished but taking the mother away from her 8 children for up to 4 years will have a damaging effect on these children. The sentence should be in the community and involve her paying back society with work, making a contribution - not being housed in a prison.

This is not to undermine the seriousness of the offence I just can't see the 'benefit' to society of locking this person up - she is not dangerous - she does need to accept what she has done is so very wrong and make amends this can be done in a community sentence surely. The children should not be punished if it can be avoided.

Just my thoughts on hearing the news.

lougle Fri 24-May-13 19:05:36

This woman undermines the claims of people with genuine disability. Who knows if the next claim assessor who reads my DD's renewal form for DLA will have this case in the back of their minds when reading it and find themselves judging our form harshly?

Most people who claim DLA for their children are actually heartbroken to find that a complete stranger has decided that their child is disabled enough to receive it. I know I was. Delighted that I wouldn't have to appeal, but crushed that my 3 year old was that bad, that someone who didn't know her judged her to qualify.

scarletforya Fri 24-May-13 19:05:37

Hm. Sorry I think yabu.

Of course nobody should be overjoyed but I do not buy into the idea that the law should be soft on women just because they are Mothers.

She knew the consequences before she did the crime. The crime that she did over and over again. I don't believe in double standards and special treatment for women who commit crimes on the grounds that they are Mothers. I don't believe that the children are better off with someone who thinks it's okay to screw everyone and then plead for leniancy because she is a Mother. I think that stance is cynical and betrays a nasty attitude in general which will damage the children in many ways.

Sorry, no, I'm not a person who is a benefits basher but she went into this with her eyes open. If she is of that mind then I believe what she is teaching the children in general and on every level will be also wrong. Her attitude is get what you can and screw society. That's detrimental to the children on every level. With that kind of attitude they'll become antisocial and view that as normal.

She's not a fit Mother.

I've no sympathy for her. For her children yes.

MortifiedAdams Fri 24-May-13 19:05:58

If she is the kind of mother who would use her children in this manner for selfish illegal gain then maybe her being away from them will be better for them.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Fri 24-May-13 19:07:22

I sort of agree with you OP. We need really harsh community and other non-jail sentences to deal convincingly with people who have committed very serious crimes but who don't need to be locked up for public safety. Woolly liberals (like me) get het up about orange jumpsuited manual labour gangs etc, but something like that might restore public faith in non-jail based punishment. "Lock her up" should not be the only weapon at our disposal, because it's so expensive, and it doesn't prevent reoffending.

AmandinePoulain Fri 24-May-13 19:07:46

I'm a bit confused - I thought that you needed to see a medical professional to claim DLA? confused hmm

It's people like her that are the reason that my friend with MS is being forced to jump through every hoop imaginable to prove that she is unable to work full time, and I'm sure that she's not the only one having to sit through endless hearings to prove her disability, despite providing evidence from her neurologist, specialist nurse and GP. So yes, this woman does deserve a jail sentence angry. I bet the Daily Fail are having a field day with this one, she'll be held up as proof that everyone on DLA is a feckless scrounger angry.

Having just read the story, I think the real issue lies in the fact that no one seems to have checked out her story. If people are able to get away with committing fraud so easily then they will.

I think that prison is the right answer; she needs to realise just what a shocking crime this is, but a short sentence would probably have done the trick, alongside lots of community work to try to put something back.

infamouspoo Fri 24-May-13 19:11:07

yabu. Think of the impact people like her have on the genuinely disabled who are often labelled fakers and scroungers because of cases like this.

But I am astonished she got away with it. My son has severe cerebral palsy. He is blind and has seizures and I have to fill in DLA forms every 2 years and provide heaps of medical evidence for a child who cannot see, move or speak. And they check.

I think a prison sentence is absolutely right in this case. it was a huge crime and you would hope a deterrant effect may prevail in the case of this sort of crime. I hope her children are getting support - how awful to know your mum lied about you for cash. £10,000 a month on occasion - yes send her to prison. She's a thief and having children is not a get out of jail card for fathers or mothers.

Bearbehind Fri 24-May-13 19:12:11

Absolutely no sympathy for anyone other than the children and they are more than likely going to be better of without her.

It is fine not to be overjoyed but why on earth should some not have to be accountable for their crime just because they have 8 children.

The implications of that are so far reaching its untrue.

How many murderers or rapists have kids.........

ShadeofViolet Fri 24-May-13 19:12:11

This woman deserves all that she gets.

DLA is hard to get, and many children who deserve it are turned down. However she makes those of us that do claim it as bad, and reinforces the (wrong) belief of some that those who claim DLA are cashing in on their disability.

She used her children for her own means. The children are better off without her.

buildingmycorestrength Fri 24-May-13 19:14:17

Would just like to remind everyone that a convicted child abuser was recently given a suspended sentence with 200 hrs work in the community because of the possible impact prison time would have on his wife and two children.

So, he is free. Because him going to prison would mean his wife and kids might lose the house, have to move, etc.

Thingymajigs Fri 24-May-13 19:19:23

How?!
The DLA form is huge. There are pages and pages to fill out and you need proof from a specialist doctor and a family member as well as copies of relevant medical information. I find it difficult to fill in adequately and my son has genuine needs and a support team to verify everything.

landofsoapandglory Fri 24-May-13 19:20:10

I've got no symapthy for her, I have for her children but not for her. She knew what she was doing, it wasn't an accident. A lot of thought and preperation had to go into what she did. Her children will be better off without her IMO.

Booyhoo Fri 24-May-13 19:20:24

i have to disagree OP

im afraid i dont think effect on dependants should be taken into account. otherwise people would be making sure they were offically a carer for someone in their family. which means more vulnerable peope being used and manipuated by someone who is willing to commit fraud! vulnerable people should be protected from people like that, not used as a get out of jail free card for them!

scarletforya Fri 24-May-13 19:21:03

Yes building but two wrongs don't make a right.

Booyhoo Fri 24-May-13 19:22:06

"Would just like to remind everyone that a convicted child abuser was recently given a suspended sentence with 200 hrs work in the community because of the possible impact prison time would have on his wife and two children. "

and that is a disgrace!

HandMini Fri 24-May-13 19:22:58

It has to be this way for deterrent to others. The courts also impose higher penalties for crimes involving deception, and as others have said, she must have told some insane lies over years and years.

However, to those who are saying "her children are better off without her"' I would ask who is going to look after them while she's in prison. If its a dad/grandma/perhaps other family member, maybe you're right, but if they're going to be put into care, they're not better off without her. Few children are better off without their mothers. I feel incredibly sorry for three kids.

quoteunquote Fri 24-May-13 19:24:01

Interesting when you compare it to the sentences hand out for raping minors,

It seems you always serve more time for stealing money than sexual assault.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 24-May-13 19:24:25

I'm not overjoyed, but I think she is exactly the sort of person and this is exactly the sort of crime that needs jail time.

This was a long, drawn-out, thought out, intentional crime and it's the sort of crime where harsh jail sentences will actually deter others.

I do feel really sorry for her kids though. Do they have a father?

Greydog Fri 24-May-13 19:25:36

She's a thief, she's stolen from all of us, she's a liar, and she's used her children for gain. No sympathy at all.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 24-May-13 19:31:53

I'd like to know how she managed to do it, tbh. I think that needs investigating.

My children both get dla. I have to send their reports, copies of their statements, details of their medical appointments, evidence of their therapies, their GP is contacted, etc.

I just don't know how she was able to just fill in forms and not provide any supporting evidence for years.

Maybe the fact she had DCs was taken into account. We don't know.

She used her children and committed massive fraud over a long period of time and could be out in 2 years. She might think it was worth it for £10k a month.

It's people like her who give normal law biding people on benefits a bad name. Some try to live without the help they need because they don't want to be looked down on and called a benefit scrounger.
All I hope is that the children have interested father(s) and grandparents who will care for them and show them a life without stealing.

LIZS Fri 24-May-13 19:50:29

I think lougle has hit the nail on the head . Her behaviour, like that of others similarly fleecing the system, colours judgement of and leaves less resources available for those in genuine need. Just because she is not "dangerous" in the physical sense doesn't lessen her crime.

I'm not overjoyed she had been sent to prison. But at the end of the day SHE choose to steal for 10 yrs.

Yes the children will suffer, they lose their mum for 2/4 yrs. They will probably lose their places at the fee paying school their at. Not to mention having everyone around them knowing what their mother has done.

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