Trudi White looks after her grandson, pays her mortgage and has three part time jobs, but told police she simply couldn’t afford £60 prescription
A struggling cleaner who works three jobs to keep her family’s head above water ended up in court – for not paying for her prescription.
Trudi White, 58, was convicted of fraud after ticking a box on a form claiming she had a tax credit exemption certificate meaning she did not have to pay for them.
When the NHS found out she had received nine batches of medication for free over a 10 month period, they sent her nine penalty notices and nine surcharge letters.
In total, she owed them £1,101.40, reports Teesside Live .
Lynne Dalton, prosecuting, said White told police in an interview that she was in arrears with her mortgage, and couldn’t afford £60 a month for medication.
A probation service report said White had voluntarily looked after her teenage grandson from a young age and had “very little money to spare”.
The grandmother had taken on a third part time job to pay back the money she defrauded, and had so far managed to clear £150.
The remainder of her fine has now been scrapped by the court.
A probation service worker told Teesside Magistrates’ Court “She needed the medication to be able to function normally, and without it she’d have been out of work and in even greater difficulty.
“She believed that as she was paying National Insurance, she should get her prescriptions for free and would’ve done had she been on benefits.”
White, who has one previous conviction, for benefit fraud, from 2014, admitted fraud by false representation at an earlier hearing.
Belinda Dobson, mitigating, said White had looked after her grandson for 10 years – but could only claim “£20 odd a week” in family allowance.
Ms Dobson said: “This is not someone who is sitting at home and not doing anything to solve the situation she finds herself in.
“She works to be an example for her grandson.”
Ms Dobson explained the exemption certificate White had fraudulently claimed to have could have been purchased for £104 a year, and as she’d already paid back £150, asked magistrates to wipe the remaining balance of £950 in fines and surcharges.
She said she earns £238 per week, and has recently got back on top of her £303 per month mortgage payments.
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