Mother Spends Daughter’s Benefits on Bingo

Mother Spends Daughter’s Benefits on Bingo

Written by: Glo Wood on 06/06/2013 17:45

Most of us would never dream of stealing, much less stealing from our children, but this was not a problem for one mother who took her disabled daughter's benefits spending it on bingo sprees and spoiling herself with trips.

Julie Smith, 46, spent £124,536 of her 25-year-old daughter Hayley’s money with gambling as an excuse. She claims it was time away from caring for her daughter.

The case went before Birmingham Crown Court, who heard the details of Hayley’s condition. She has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk or talk. She receives benefits for her car, day centre trips and specialist equipment.

In comes mummy who spent every penny of the past six years from 2006 to 2012.

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 noticed that the cash was 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.”
She went on to say online gambling sites are too accessible. Smith is required to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.

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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