Woman Who Claimed To Have Dementia Jailed Over £600K Fraud Scam
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A woman who appeared on This Morning claiming to be one of the UK's youngest people to have dementia has been jailed for her part in a £624,000 fraud scam. You can watch a clip of her interview below:
Laura Borrell's husband Philip, 46, has also been sentenced in what's believed to be one of the largest swindles of its kind.
The couple were found to have conspired with Laura's mother Frances Noble by convincing Hertfordshire County Council that the 66-year-old had a neurological condition that left her bed bound and needing round-the-clock care.
A court heard how all three of those involved benefitted from payouts worth more than £624,000 between 2007 and 2018.
Although the funds were designed to help care for Frances, evidence showed the trio treated the benefits as personal income, with the Borrells splashing out on luxury holidays in Canada, San Francisco, Boston and Orlando.
In 2017, Laura and Philip took to the This Morning sofa to additionally claim that the 44-year-old had early onset dementia.
Their story gained media attention after Frances posted a GoFundMe page asking people to contribute to a trip for the couple 'before Laura's memory declined'.
Although it raised more than £1,500, it was never confirmed whether or not they went on the trip.
Despite speculation over Laura's condition, her attorney Unan Choudhury previously denied any wrongdoing relating to the dementia.
"She has suffered with serious neurological illnesses in the past and continues to suffer with illnesses now," he told The Times. "She is receiving specialist treatment for her various conditions."
Last month, St Albans crown court was told that Frances actually received £702,905 from the council starting from 2005.
However, the admitted offence only came into existence in 2007 and so she was only on trial for the money received from this date.
Frances - who is currently residing in Germany - was sentenced to four years and nine months in her absence and is awaiting extradition.
At today's (19 July) hearing, Laura was jailed for three years and nine months and Philip for four years and three months.
Evidence discussed during the previous trial showed that neighbours grew suspicious of the family after seeing Noble walking her dog at night and standing in her garden without the aid of a carer.
After one person secretly captured footage of the pensioner fully mobile, carers came forward to alert the local authority who proceeded to launch an investigation into the care package payouts.
Neighbours also expressed concerns about the couple's behaviour, with one telling The Times that there were 'delivery vans all day long'.
Another said: "There were Amazon vans coming every single day. And then this brand new top-of-the-range Volvo arrived. You started thinking, what does he do? What does she do?"