Defendant accused of benefit fraud and deception to be tried

Friday 24th June 2022 4:56 pm
Exterior view of the Isle of Man Courthouse in Douglas - (Isle of Man Newspapers )

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A 61-year-old woman who is charged with benefit fraud and deception will be committed to the Court of General Gaol for trial.

Wendy Elizabeth Megson is accused of nine counts of benefit fraud which allegedly resulted in her being overpaid £31,366.

She is also charged with two counts of deception and two offences relating to the Charities Registration Act.

Those allegations are said to relate to annual returns for Manx Equine Therapy Limited and declarations regarding the company being a charity, as well as a Tesco Bags of Help application.

On Tuesday, Ms Megson appeared in court via video link from the prison and said that her surname was a ‘legal fiction’.

She refused to enter pleas to the charges, claiming she was being placed under duress without a fair hearing or access to independent legal advice.

High Bailiff Jayne Hughes told Ms Megson that she was satisfied that she had had opportunities previously to obtain legal advice and therefore recorded a ‘no plea’ response on behalf of her to all the charges.

Prosecuting advocate Hazel Carroon submitted that the case was too serious for summary court and should be committed to the higher court for trial.

High Bailiff Mrs Hughes agreed and committal proceedings will take place on August 23.

Bail was refused as no suitable address could be provided, however it was said that Ms Megson was due to be assessed for a place at probation accommodation Tromode House.

She will appear in court again on June 28, or earlier if a place at Tromode House is approved.

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