Beds, Herts & Bucks

Luton benefit fraudster 'freed' by £10K from nephew

A woman jailed for six months for benefit fraud was released just hours later when her nephew paid £10,000 towards her debt to Luton council.

Karen Wray, 57, of Luton, was sentenced at its Crown court on Friday after she admitted four counts of making false statements to obtain £32,531 benefit.

Judge Barbara Mensah said the sentence "would be reviewed" if £10,000 of her compensation order was paid in 50 days.

Wray was released six hours later when her nephew told the court he had paid.

'Debt of gratitude'

He had been in the public gallery during the hearing that morning.

Judge Mensah released Wray, of Verulam Gardens, from the court cells and told her she owed a "debt of gratitude" to her nephew.

She then gave Wray a 12-month community order and a six-month curfew.

She must also pay the remaining £22,531.

The court heard the fraud dated from 2005 to 2009, with Wray spending some of the money on holidays.

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