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Mother claimed Centrelink parenting payments for almost 15 years after her baby died


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Mother who defrauded Centrelink of $210,000 over almost 15 years after her baby died would ‘dress up a doll and pretend it was her daughter’

  • Alison Mains awaiting sentence for obtaining financial advantage by deception 
  • The 41-year-old is being sentenced for defrauding the Commonwealth
  • Mains claimed $209,114 in Centrelink payments she wasn’t entitled to
  • She claimed her baby was alive although the girl had died at five months old 

A woman who claimed Centrelink parenting payments for almost 15 years after her baby died would dress up a doll and pretend it was her daughter, a judge has been told

A woman who claimed Centrelink parenting payments for almost 15 years after her baby died would dress up a doll and pretend it was her daughter, a judge has been told.

Alison Christie Mains, 41, is awaiting sentence in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court for three counts each of obtaining financial advantage by deception and defrauding the Commonwealth.

‘The offending began as a result of Ms Mains’ daughter dying in horrific, tragic circumstances, aged five months,’ her barrister Marty Bernhaut said on Wednesday.

He said the disabled baby girl died in mid-1998 and the debt came to the fore in 2013 – a period of 14-and-a-half years.

Mr Bernhaut conceded Mains claimed $209,114 in Centrelink payments she wasn’t entitled to and made false oral representations over the years that her baby was still alive.

But he also submitted she is illiterate, has never worked, has a background of ‘significant deprivation’ and would have been entitled to $69,696.20 in Newstart allowance during the offending period.

Alison Christie Mains, 41, is awaiting sentence in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court for three counts each of obtaining financial advantage by deception and defrauding the Commonwealth (pictured is Alison Mains outside court)

Alison Christie Mains, 41, is awaiting sentence in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court for three counts each of obtaining financial advantage by deception and defrauding the Commonwealth (pictured is Alison Mains outside court)

He said a Centrelink investigator also established she could have received $189,281.70 in Disability Support Pension entitlements.

‘The DSP she may as well have been eligible for … was some $2,500 more than the single parenting payment (of $186,875.24),’ he said.

Mr Bernhaut said his client has previously told medical practitioners the baby’s death was ‘a particularly difficult, stressful event’ and has since engaged in behaviour including dressing up a doll and pretending it was her daughter.

‘She reports being emotionally distraught and in poor physical health at the time,’ the barrister said.

‘It’s patently apparent that she deteriorated significantly in the period following her child’s death.’

The court heard Mains has also spent periods of time in rehabilitation for alcohol dependence.

The sentence hearing before Judge Nicole Noman continues.

'The offending began as a result of Ms Mains' daughter dying in horrific, tragic circumstances, aged five months,' her barrister Marty Bernhaut said on Wednesday (pictured is Alison Mains outside court)

‘The offending began as a result of Ms Mains’ daughter dying in horrific, tragic circumstances, aged five months,’ her barrister Marty Bernhaut said on Wednesday (pictured is Alison Mains outside court)

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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