The Jersey Evening Post have reported that on 15th November a Madeiran emigrant Laurentina Da Conceicao Baptista Martins Gouveia (64) had appeared in the Royal Court after pleading guilty to knowingly furnishing false information or withholding information to obtain an award and obtaining an award knowing that it was not payable.
Requesting a two-year jail sentence, Crown Advocate Chris Baglin, prosecuting, told the court that on 3 April 2008 Mrs Gouveia had submitted an application form for income support as she had stopped work because of a medical condition, but failed to declare that she was living with her husband or that she owned property in Madeira.
It was only in March 2018, after being sent a change-in-circumstances form, that she admitted she had been living with her partner for three years. However, when asked if she owned a property overseas, she ticked the ‘no’ box.
She also revealed that her husband had a savings account at HSBC which she had not previously declared.
Besides the income support payments, Gouveia also claimed £1,520.05 in ‘special payments’ from the government for carpets, a fridge and cooker, glasses and dental work.
In total she claimed £70,128.61. She has since begun making repayments but £66,499.29 remains outstanding.
Sir William, in sentencing, said that Jurats Charles Blampied and David Hughes had been split about sending the defendant to jail.
‘The amount of time that the court spent outside shows that we have considered this very carefully,’ he said.
‘I have sided with the Jurat who thought a prison sentence is appropriate but I also take very much of the fact that the defendant has pleaded guilty and had good character, which is to her credit. I have also taken account of her age.’