False kids get £125,000 cash

PUBLISHED: 08:03 19 June 2007 | UPDATED: 11:10 24 May 2010

A WESTON couple falsely claimed £125,000 in benefits by inventing 16 children, a court has heard. David Wilshaw, aged 57, of South Road, pleaded guilty to 20 charges of obtaining fraudulent payments through child tax credits between 2003-6 at North Somer

A WESTON couple falsely claimed £125,000 in benefits by inventing 16 children, a court has heard. David Wilshaw, aged 57, of South Road, pleaded guilty to 20 charges of obtaining fraudulent payments through child tax credits between 2003-6 at North Somerset Courthouse.Previously, he claimed to be doing a 'public service' by exposing a loophole in the benefits system. The charges relate to claims for missing giro cheques for 16 false children he obtained from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. Wilshaw also pleaded guilty to 22 charges of fraudulent activity to obtain child tax credit in 2006. Oliver Willmott, prosecuting, told the court that Wilshaw collected a total of £75,000 as a result of his actions.His partner, Nancy Stevenson, aged 58, also appeared in court faced with nine charges of fraudulent payments of tax credits, again relating to bogus children, including two real ones, who cannot be named for legal reasons. Stevenson, also of South Road, pleaded guilty to one charge on April 16, 2004, but did not enter pleas for eight other identical charges between 2004 and 2007. Mr Willmott told the court she made up to £50,000 from the false claims.Wilshaw will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on June 25.Stevenson will appear again before magistrates in St Georges on August 3 for a hearing to decide when she will appear at Bristol Crown Court. The couple were released on unconditional bail.Separately, Wilshaw admitted two charges of handling stolen goods and obtaining property by deception jointly with Danny Bond, aged 26, of Monkton Road, Weston.The court heard how they used Lloyds TSB cheques to buy Tom Tom satellite navigation systems worth almost £5,000 from stores in Bristol and Bridgwater.Wilshaw also pleaded guilty to a further charge of obtaining property by deception on June 25 last year.Bond was also released on unconditional bail and both men will appear on June 25 at Bristol Crown Court for sentencing. The couple's bogus children included Gareth Wilshaw, Simon Wilshaw, Sandra Wilshaw, Brian Wilshaw, Jason Wilshaw, Rebecca Stevenson, Phillip Stevenson, Edith Stevenson, Terry Stevenson, Barbara Stevenson, Amanda Phillips, Jessica Phillips, Miranda Evans, Jemma Williams, Danny Evans and Amber Mitchell.

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