Tilbury Hooker Caught In Benefit Fraud “Sting” Spared Jail

A TILBURY woman was spared jail for benefit fraud after a joint sting operation by Thurrock Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) revealed that she was working as a prostitute.

Grays Magistrates Court heard that Linda Terry, 46, Tasmania House, Tilbury had been claiming a variety of benefits since 2006 totaling over £11,000.

In November, 2009, information was received that Ms Terry was working as a prostitute, advertising on the internet with “price lists and a feedback column”.

An officer visited her flat on the pretext of being a potential customer but immediately interviewed her under caution when she admitted that she had been working as a prostitute at her Tilbury flat and various locations for over a year.

In mitigation, defending solicitor, Mr Sayers told the court that made a full admission to the officer and pled guilty in court. She had also begun to pay back some of the benefit monies and was of previous good character.

Presiding magistrate Mrs Moulds also heard that at the time of the offences, Terry had been in an abusive relationship with a partner who had forced her into a life of prostitution.

Terry was given a four week jail sentence suspended for one year.

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