Scuba-diving benefits pair Rose and Reginald Jones jailed

  • 24 July 2012
  • From the section Kent
Rose Jones scuba diving
Image caption Rose Jones was pictured scuba-diving while claiming disability benefits

A couple who fraudulently claimed more than £130,000 in disability benefits have been jailed after they were pictured scuba-diving abroad.

Rose Jones, 53, from Ramsgate in Kent, was jailed for 15 months after being convicted last month of 12 charges at Canterbury Crown Court.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said she had told them she was too disabled to open a bottle of wine.

Her former husband, Reginald Jones, 54, of Dover, was jailed for 18 months.

The ex-paratrooper was convicted of four charges of obtaining money transfer by deception, one of furnishing false information and two of dishonestly making false representation.

The court heard that when the DWP investigated, it found the couple had taken holidays for scuba-diving lessons to destinations including Sharm-El-Sheikh in Egypt, the Maldives and Indonesia.

'Exaggerated needs'

Judge Nigel Van der Bijl told Rose Jones he accepted that she had a severe back condition and had been signed off work by her GP.

"But what you did was build up a case of fraud by exaggerating your needs and gilding the lily," he said.

The DWP said she falsely claimed £45,500 in incapacity benefit, £52,181 in disability living allowance, £15,975 in tax credits and £5,351 in carers allowance

She was convicted of six counts of furnishing false information, four of obtaining money by deception and two of dishonestly making false representation.

DWP spokesman Steve Tremlett said the sentences reflected the seriousness of the crime.

"We had here some £130,000 of benefits that should go to the most vulnerable in society and they were used to fund a quite lavish lifestyle," he said.