Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 6°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Long Melford: 59-year-old hospitalised after asthma attack while being sentenced for benefit fraud

08:36 17 May 2014

59-year-old woman sentenced for benefit fraud at Ipswich Crown Court

59-year-old woman sentenced for benefit fraud at Ipswich Crown Court

Archant

A benefit cheat who dishonestly claimed more than £20,000 was taken to hospital after suffering an asthma attack as she was being sentenced by a judge.

shares

Audrey Brachtvogel, 59, was sitting in the dock at Ipswich Crown Court and had just been told by Judge Rupert Overbury that he was not going to send her to prison when she started struggling to breathe.

The case was adjourned while she took an inhaler and she was then taken from the court to a waiting ambulance in a wheelchair by paramedics.

Brachtvogel, of Bildeston Road, Offton, admitted dishonestly failing to notify a change in her circumstances, dishonestly making a false statement and dishonestly producing a false tenancy agreement.

She was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Judge Overbury said Brachtvogel was in poor health and it would place a huge burden on the prison service if he sent her straight to prison.

Her husband Brian, 54, of Cordell Place, Long Melford, denied aiding and abetting his wife to commit the three offences she admitted and not guilty verdicts were entered on the court record after the prosecution offered no evidence against him.

Jodie Hitchcock, prosecuting, told the court Audrey Brachtvogel had dishonestly obtained £10,000 housing benefit and council tax benefit from Tendring District Council (TDC) and £11,300 from Babergh District Council (BDC).

She said the defendant had claimed housing and council tax benefit from TDC while she was living in St Osyth. She claimed she was unemployed and living on her own and that her only income was incapacity benefit. She made another claim to BDC after moving to Cordell Place in Long Melford and repeated the claims she had made to Tendring.

In support of her claim to BDC she supplied a tenancy agreement which had been doctored to show her as the only tenant of the premises whereas the original document had her husband’s name on it as well, said Miss Hitchcock.

An investigation revealed that she had been living with her husband, who was in work, at both addresses.

Miss Hitchcock said although Brachtvogel’s claim to TDC was genuine at the outset the BDC claim was fraudulent from the start.

Matthew McNiff, for Brachtvogel, said his client had not spent the money she obtained on high living and had used it to pay for her heating to create an ideal atmosphere to assist her medical problems.

shares
Suspected gas explosion on Federick Road in Gorleston.

 Picture: James Bass

Two people have been taken to hospital following a suspected gas explosion near Lowestoft.

Cobbolds Point, Felixstowe, by Peter Smith, is on show as part of the Suffolk Creative Photographic Group exhibition at Woodbridge Library during March

From broody compositions to sun-kissed scenes – an exhibition of photographs currently on display at a Suffolk library has a bit of everything to offer.

Michael Davey, left

Tributes have poured in for a “hugely influential” teacher who will be “profoundly missed” by staff, students and parents of a Suffolk independent school.

Pupils at Sir Robert Hitcham's Primary School in Framlingham dress up as characters from their favourite books fo World Book Day.

The library came to life in the playground of a Suffolk school today.

Southwold Pier basks in the early morning spring sunshine

Spring is hitting the East with full force this weekend with temperatures expecting to reach the mid teens.

A pile up has blocked a road in Ipswich

Duke Street in Ipswich is blocked because of a five vehicle “pile-up”.

Former Ipswich Town manager Roy Keane

Former Ipswich Town manager Roy Keane is due to appear in court over an alleged road-rage row with a taxi driver.

The photo of police in Ipswich who served during the General Strike in 1926 which is being auctioned by Lockdales

A photograph of the men who kept order in Ipswich during the 1926 General Strike is to go under the hammer at auction.

Alex Till ( third from right at the front), chief executive of MENTA, has been appointed by the Newbury Community Association as chairman of the Newbury Community Centre Project Board.

A business leader has been appointed to bring his skills to a project for a brand new community centre on Bury St Edmunds’ Howard estate.

Jane Ireland is continuing Wally's café, which was run by her father in Long Melford.

The daughter of a former chef and cafe owner who died last month at the age of 84 has vowed to keep the memory of his legendary breakfasts and Sunday roasts alive.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages