VIDEO: Woman who claimed benefits for crippling arthritis is caught water-skiing in Florida (From Gazette)
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VIDEO: Woman who claimed benefits for crippling arthritis is caught water-skiing in Florida
Updated 5:05pm Thursday 5th June 2014 in News
A woman who claimed she struggled to walk due to arthritis enjoyed a series of foreign holidays and was filmed water-skiing in Florida.
Janet Curtis, 64, of Douglas Road, Clacton, pleaded guilty to a string of benefit frauds which netted her more than £140,000 over a decade.
She was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Ipswich Crown Court today, and is subject to a six-month curfew, from 7pm to 6am.
Curtis will also have to repay all the money she obtained through her dishonesty.
The 64-year-old, formerly of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, had fraudulently claimed more than £140,000 from Suffolk Coastal District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.
She claimed rheumatoid arthritis meant that she could not walk more than two to three metres without extreme discomfort, leaving her virtually wheelchair bound and unable to walk without aids.
She also claimed she was unable to function independently and needed 24-hour care, claiming additional benefit as she said she had a live-in carer and therefore needed an additional bedroom.
But in reality, Curtis enjoyed a series of foreign holidays, cruising on the QEII – and even water-skiing in Florida.
The person Curtis claimed was her carer had in fact never cared for her, and had not even seen her for several years.
She also continued to falsely claim Housing and Council Tax benefits for her home in Martlesham Heath for more than a decade after she had moved out to live with her partner in Clacton.