Mother, 36, admits shaving son's head and eyebrows to pretend he had cancer and illegally claiming £55,000 in benefits

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A 36-YEAR-OLD mother has admitted pretending that her young son had cancer so she could illegally claim about £55,000 in benefits.

The mother, from the Dursley area, who cannot be named, shaved her son's head and eyebrows to make it look like he was undergoing chemotherapy.

The woman has also admitted fraud to obtain disability living allowance for her daughter by claiming she was ill.

The mum was due to be sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court on Wednesday but the case could not go ahead because a report on her from a psychiatrist did not arrive in time for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC bailed the woman until November 2 and told her to expect jail.

At an earlier hearing the court was told the woman claimed £34,396 in disability living allowances and £18,734 in child cancer benefits despite her son, who is now nine, being in good health.

The prosecution say she kept the pretence up for three years when her son was aged between four and seven.

Prosecutor Lisa Hennessy said at the earlier hearing: "The Crown say the defendant claimed that her child had cancer and shaved his head and eyebrows and claimed her other children had various disabilies never diagnosed."

The case follows a probe by police and the Department for Work and Pensions.

At the hearing she was in the dock with her 42-year-old partner who was jointly charged with her with perverting the course of justice and forgery.

But prosecutor Mrs Hennessy said the Crown was no longer proceeding against him and she offered no evidence.

The judge formally found the man not guilty and discharged him after granting a defendant's costs order.

At an earlier hearing the woman had admitted one charge of cruelty to her son between January 1, 2008 and May 26, 2010, one charge of forging a doctor's letter and eight charges of fraud to get benefits including disability living allowance for her son.

She denied nine other charges of fraud, cruelty and forgery which the prosecution did not accept at the last hearing.

However, Mrs Hennessy said that her pleas were now accepted and there will be no further action taken on the outstanding charges she has denied.

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