A lowlife mum was warned she faces a “significant” prison sentence after she admitted using one of her DEAD babies to claim thousands of pounds in benefits.
Grasping Maria Pridmore, 36, pocketed child benefits in the name of her newborn son Kia who died when he was just two weeks old in December 2009.
A court heard Pridmore suffered 14 miscarriages, a stillbirth and the loss of Kia, over a 13-year period before finally having a healthy daughter in 2012.
She also falsely claimed benefits for another child despite the youngster not living with Pridmore at the time.
In total, Pridmore swindled £16,931 over a three-year period after failing to inform the authorities of a change in her circumstances.
At an earlier hearing she admitted seven charges of benefit fraud between January 2001 and March 2013.
She also pleaded guilty to seven charges of fraud and two of theft between
March 2013 and May 2015.
Prosecutor Chris Geeson told Lincoln Crown Court: “This is a long and protracted benefit fraud.
“The highlights, or perhaps the lowlights of fraud, was the fact that the defendant claimed benefits for her child in 2009 who sadly passed away within weeks of being born.
“The claim just started out legitimately for a short period of time.
“But the fraud continued and it wasn’t simple.
“She was living with a man as her husband in 2012 so she was not entitled to housing benefit or council tax or income support which she received
“There were plenty of opportunities to advise the relative authorities of her change of circumstances.
“She makes limited admissions and tries to blame others for her actions.”
Recorder Paul Mann QC yesterday warned Pridmore, of Spalding, Lincs., she faced going to prison “for quite some time.”
Bailing Pridmore until sentencing next Friday (29/7) he said: “The defendant has made a number of assertions about the life she has led to commit the offences she has.
“She is blaming her former partner for getting her on heroin, then being trapped by the drug and for feeding his habit as well as hers, and also her medical history.
“She has suffered unfortunate medical circumstances, but she is an allegedly practised fraudster.”
Ordering Pridmore to be electronically tagged, he told her: “You could be facing a significant custodial sentence.”
Andrea Clarke, defending, said: “As a result of her former partner residing with her, there were a number of domestic-related incidents.
“She does take responsibility but of course she explains her circumstances.
“Miss Pridmore is very open in relation to her relationship with her former partner.
“She has at least made some diligent effort to get off the heroin and her most recent urine sample a few weeks ago came back negative.
“She seems to have turned a corner.”
Pridmore refused to speak outside court yesterday.
A relative earlier said: “We hate her.”