Derbyshire fraudster is jailed after he falsely registered triplets to claim benefits
A serial fraudster has been jailed for 22 weeks after he tried to falsely register the birth of triplets so he could illegally claim unentitled benefits.
However, benefit staff became suspicious because the form James Batty handed over had so many spelling mistakes.
Derby Crown Court heard how the 29-year-old’s series of frauds also saw him open a Freeman’s catalogue account in the name of the mother of his former partner and order £700 of goods which were sent to his address.
And his final offence saw him try to cash a cheque for more than £1,200 which he had already received the money for.
Judge Shaun Smith QC said: “Mr Batty, you are not unknown to the courts for fraud, you have done a lot of it.
“But that has mostly been benefit fraud but this time you have gone a bit further and made it personal.
“This was really spiteful behaviour and I appreciate it is against a backdrop of a relationship ending but that is an explanation and not an excuse.
“The offences you committed were mean but they were not sophisticated.
“In one case the spelling on the form was even wrong.”
Sarah Allen, prosecuting, said Batty and his partner had an “acrimonious split” earlier this year.
She said that following the break-up in August he decided to take out a Freeman’s catalogue account in the name of the mother of his ex and ordered the goods which included a bed, a settee, towels, kitchen items and a TV.
That fraud was uncovered when the woman was sent an invoice for the goods and the police were informed.
Miss Allen said the second fraud took place on August 3.
She said: “The defendant went to a register office claiming he needed to register the birth of triplets.
“He had with him forged court documents and the registrar became suspicious when she noticed a number of spelling mistakes on the claim form.
“She also called the hospital to see if any triplets had been born on the date he claimed and they told her there had not been any.”
Miss Allen said the cheque fraud also took place in August when Batty had legitimately leased a BMW car and then decided to end it, receiving a cheque for £1,279 which he cashed.
She said: “He immediately reported the cheque had been lost so a second cheque was sent out and which he tried to cash.
“He was arrested and interviewed and admitted he carried out the offences because he was desperate.”
Miss Allen said Batty, of Porter Street, Staveley, has 19 convictions for 59 offences including a number for fraud.
In relation to the new offences he pleaded guilty to three more counts of the same offence.
Jeremy Janes, mitigating, said his client had attempted suicide on a number of occasions since being remanded into custody.
He said: “This offending happened at a time when he had lost his home, his job and his relationship.
“He accepts through me these are mean offences.”