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'Single' mum on benefits was 'happily married' on Facebook

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 21, 2012

A WOMAN who claimed more than £4,000 in benefits by saying she was a single mum was caught out after her Facebook page listed her as "happily married".

Joleen Amanda Davies, 29, told the authorities she was raising her three children alone and claiming three types of benefits.

But Swansea magistrates heard she was in fact living with her husband Mark Davies.

She admitted two charges of failing to notify authorities of a change in her circumstances.

Investigations revealed Mr Davies was living with her in Woodview Place, Portmead, and officers found he had his bank statements delivered there and had given the address the couple shared to a car company.

Davies was interviewed in January this year and said her husband visited regularly to help take the children to school and sometimes babysit.

She told officers he lived with his mother.

But a statement was taken from Mr Davies's parents who said he did not live with them, despite his wife's claims.

Davies admitted to officers that her Facebook profile stated she was "happily married".

She said she had not started divorce proceedings against Mr Davies.

In a second interview she again denied living with Davies and said he was actually seeing someone else.

In total she claimed an extra £2,865 in income support, £1,005 in housing benefit and £154.47 in council tax benefits.

Chris White, representing Davies, said she had now accepted that for eight months she had not informed the Department of Work and Pensions of a change in circumstances.

"Her partner was staying with her periodically and she was unsure if he would be remaining so she did not declare it," said Mr White.

He said she was already paying the money back.

Probation officers had submitted a pre-sentence report which asked magistrates to rule out Davies completing unpaid work because of health concerns.

"She will be walking out of here with a criminal conviction and for someone who has never been in trouble before, that's an onerous burden in itself," said Mr White.

Magistrates ordered Davies to pay a fine of £100, court costs of £100 and a £15 victim surcharge.

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