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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

'Benefits Queen' mother-of-12 Cheryl Prudham is SPARED jail for using £2,200 stolen from car parking machines by her abusive partner to pay for a TUI holiday to Menorca

  • Mother-of-12 Cheryl Prudham, 35, the 'Queen of Benefits' has been spared jail
  • Given suspended sentence for spending £2,220 of stolen cash on Spanish trip
  • She admitted using £2,241 for her Spanish holiday from the £4,788 her now her ex-partner Robert Prudham stole while working for Meteor Parking Ltd

  • The 'Queen of Benefits' has been spared jail despite paying for a luxury holiday to Spain for nine of her children with stolen cash.
    Mother-of-12 Cheryl Prudham, 35, was given a suspended sentence for spending more than £2,200 of stolen cash on the all-inclusive vacation for herself, her partner and nine of her children.
    Prudham, who gets £40,000 a year from the state, admitted using £2,241 for her Spanish trip from the £4,788 her now her ex-partner Robert Prudham stole while working for Meteor Parking Ltd, having secured the job by fraud.
    She was sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a 35-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

    Mother-of-12 Cheryl Prudham, 35, was given a suspended sentence for spending more than £2,200 of stolen cash on the all-inclusive vacation for herself, her (now ex) partner Robert Prudham (pictured together) and nine of her children 
    Mother-of-12 Cheryl Prudham, 35, was given a suspended sentence for spending more than £2,200 of stolen cash on the all-inclusive vacation for herself, her (now ex) partner Robert Prudham (pictured together) and nine of her children 
    She appeared today at Maidstone Crown Court by video link from Warrington Crown Court in Cheshire, where she now lives.
    Judge Adele Williams said: 'This offence was in my judgement motivated by greed on your part.

    'You used the money to pay for sums due on a holiday.'
    The court heard Prudham, 35, paid an installment for the 14-day holiday to Menorca with some of stolen money the day after her ex-partner resigned from his job.
    Robert Prudham, 33, from Maidstone in Kent, swindled almost £5,000 from car park machines (pictured, outside court)
    Robert Prudham, 33, from Maidstone in Kent, swindled almost £5,000 from car park machines (pictured, outside court)
    The holiday, for which she paid £7,671, was to Victoria Playa in Santo Tomas, flying from Gatwick Airport on May 16 2014. They returned on May 30. 
    Robert Prudham, from Maidstone, was yesterday jailed for 14 months after admitting stealing from Meteor Parking Ltd between January 4 and February 12 2014, as well as for fraud. 
    The 33-year-old obtained the job as a money collector by making a false declaration to Red Eagle Recruitment Specialist that he was of good character and had no criminal convictions, when he had 18 previous court appearances for 29 offences.
    He stole coins and notes from station car parks across Kent, including from Darent Valley Hospital. 
    Since committing the offences, Robert Prudham had been convicted of harassing his ex-partner, as well as shoplifting.   
    Emma Shafton, for the prosecution, said the 'Benefits Queen' at first claimed she had saved the money and was reluctant to allow police access to her bank accounts.
    She had eight previous convictions for ten offences, including shoplifting, intimidating a witness and possessing a bladed article in a public place.
    Her last conviction in 2004 was for possessing cannabis.
    Prudham had blamed Robert, the father of six of her children, for her crimes. 

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    Philip Sinclair, defending, said: 'It was an abusive relationship virtually from the start.
    'She was unable to leave it.
    'She made a number of complaints to the police, but various assaults were never pursued. When he brought home a lot of money, largely in coinage, she knew it was stolen.
    'She panicked. She paid for the holiday herself. He contributed nothing towards it.
    'It cost nearly £8,000. She had paid £6,000 at the time of the offence.
    'She was able to take up employment working 12 hours a day as a carer. She has now lost that job.
    'She was concerned about the stolen money in the house and didn't know what to do, and she foolishly paid off the balance for the holiday.' 
    He added: 'This offence is an aberration.
    'She is a good mother. The only reason Social Services were ever involved in this family was because of Robert Prudham's presence.
    'She is now doing very well. She presents as a mature and sensible young lady who is deeply ashamed.'

    Prudham poses for cameras outside Maidstone Crown Court yesterdayPrudham swearing at photographers during an earlier hearing


    Left, Prudham poses for cameras outside Maidstone Crown Court yesterday, and right, swearing at photographers during an earlier hearing

    Passing sentence Judge Adele Williams said Prudham now appeared to be working with Social Services to ensure the 12 children are being cared for.
    She said: 'In my judgement, there is now hope you appear to be putting your life in order.
    'I take the view this is a serious example of handling.' 
    She added: 'Were it not for the fact you pleaded a very long time ago, and unlike your former partner you have not committed any further offences while on bail awaiting sentence, the sentence would have been immediate custody.
    'Please go away and do not commit any further offences.'

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