Hatfield mother claims benefits for dead child

A MOTHER who claimed nearly �8,000 in the name of her dead toddler has avoided jail. Hatfield mum-of-two Kelechi Mbaeri was a student nurse and claimed for a bursary from the NHS for her two children to attend nursery. But Mbaeri's daughter

A MOTHER who claimed nearly �8,000 in the name of her dead toddler has avoided jail.

Hatfield mum-of-two Kelechi Mbaeri was a student nurse and claimed for a bursary from the NHS for her two children to attend nursery.

But Mbaeri's daughter Somtochukwu died on February 14, 2007.

The 36-year-old, from Stockbreach Road, faced magistrates in St Albans and pleaded guilty to obtaining money by deception and two charges of fraud.

Magistrates agreed custody was needed as a large amount of money was involved and this was a sustained offence.

They also said she quite deliberately used the name of a dead child to obtain money.

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They ordered her to serve 16 weeks in prison, but suspended the sentence for 12 months.

She was ordered to pay back �2,000 in compensation to the NHS.

* For reaction to her sentence see today's Welwyn & Hatfield Times.