Suspended sentence for Plaistow benefits cheat
A judge controversially suggested that Afro-Caribbean husbands are more likely to abandon their wives than others.
He later went on to say that he was not racially stereotyping.
Judge Nigel Seed QC was passing sentence on fraud cheat Jennifer Baiden at Inner London Crown Court and said he was “unimpressed” with the efforts made to trace her husband, who had received some of the cash.
He said: “This could well be a man who has left women to fend for themselves.
“I do not wish to be accused of racially stereoptyping, but I am aware that is quite often the attitude of Afro-Caribbean males.”
Mother-of-three Baiden, jetted around the world on the proceeds of her dole fraud.
She lied about husband Samuel Baiden’s income to claim �75,000 in benefits.
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The scam, involving housing and council tax benefits as well as income support, ran from 2000 until her arrest in 2009.
She also lied about a previous conviction in 1997 for false accounting, which was listed under her maiden name of Newman and a false date of birth.
The 45-year-old, of Jacobs House, New City Road, Plaistow, used the cash on shopping sprees and holidays in Canada and Jamaica.
The court heard that she has �40,000 of debts despite claiming the cash.
Imposing a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, he told her: “I consider you to be dishonest.
“I accept that you were entitled to some benefits and it is of great misfortune that further inquiries weren’t made of your husband.
“But you told a series of lies to people and you are now taking the brunt.
“You are the only person who is going to be sentenced by the court, whereas your husband has got away and he benefited from the money to which you were not entitled.”
Andrew Evans, prosecuting, said Baiden was first declined an application for benefits back in 1999 while living with Samuel Baiden, who was then her boyfriend, as she did not state his income.
The following year she successfully reapplied, claiming he had left her and “gone abroad”.
Mr Evans said: “Since February 2000 the defendant has been in receipt of income support which she claimed from the Department of Work and Pensions on the basis that she was a lone parent, as she was separated from her partner, whom she believed had gone abroad and had no other source of income.
“She also received from the London Borough of Newham housing benefit and council tax benefit for the property at Jacobs House.
“Therefore, as a result of her false benefit claims, the defendant has received an overpayment of �74,800.99 in benefits to which she was not entitled.”