Dole cheat lottery winner is jailed again

Lesley Brogan
Lesley Brogan

A dole cheat Lottery winner has been jailed for two years - for “cynically manipulating” the court system.

Greedy Lesley Brogan claimed £107,000 in benefits for her “sick” husband while he worked as an extra on Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

The high-living couple even won £120,000 on a Lottery but did not declare it to the authorities and mother-of-three Brogan, 50, continued to claim state benefits.

She was jailed for 21 months in April, 2011 after she admitted failing to report a change in circumstances and false accounting.

But on coming out of prison, shameless Brogan waged what Judge Peter Kelson called a “crusade” against those who put her inside.

She forged two letters in a bid to delay further proceedings but has now been jailed again after finally admitting perverting the course of justice.

Jailing her at Sheffield Crown Court, the judge told her: “You are a manipulator of court systems to the nth degree. You have tried every single conceivable avenue of escape you could find for yourself.”

Despite the 2011 conviction, Brogan, of Mere Lane, Edenthorpe, Doncaster fought a confiscation of criminal proceedings order launched by prosecutors.

She challenged the amount calculated by the Department of Work and Pensions and used her right of appeal in a bid to reduce the overpayment figures.

She sent a fake letter to a Social Security Appeals Tribunal in March, 2013 purporting to be from a Doncaster GP saying that she was not well enough to attend.

She claimed medical evidence would be supplied in due course, said Craig Hassall, prosecuting.

The letter was read by the panel who thought it “did not ring true” and the signature appeared to be “too deliberate” for a doctor’s. The GP later confirmed it was not his writing.

Mr Hassall said the non-appearance of Brogan meant she could not be cross-examined and it caused the confiscation hearing to be adjourned “time and again.”

A second fake letter written in August, 2009 also purporting to be from a GP claiming both Brogan and her husband Alistair were unfit for work for long periods was also sent to the tribunal. It too proved to be a forgery.

Brogan launched a series of appeals against both the criminal conviction and the confiscation order which went as far as the Court of Appeal. Brogan failed in all the appeals.

She has a series of convictions dating back to 1986 mostly for dishonesty.

Derek Duffy, for Brogan, said she had adopted a “siege mentality” and had fought at “every possible opportunity” until two months ago.

He said: “She has now been persuaded to drop this campaign against the Crown and everything connected with the benefits payments.”

He continued: “She is now genuinely remorseful. She has set herself against these proceedings and fought and fought and fought.”

Mr Duffy said the two forged letters had no impact on the tribunal as they went ahead and found against her anyway.

She now had her own medical problems and was due to have hospital treatment.

Judge Kelson said she had provided “fictitious” letters to the tribunal and the “genesis” of the case was the criminal proceedings for the benefits fraud.

He told her: “You embarked upon a crusade and found every obstacle you could present to hinder the proceedings. You only stopped this crusade because you realised there was simply nowhere left to go.”

The judge said she had tried to “con” the Appeals Tribunal with the forged letters. “It was all part of your crusade,” he said. “It is one of the most persistent I have ever set my eyes on.”

He said he was “struggling” to accept that she had shown any remorse. “”Fortunately it had no effect on the adminstration of justice but only because the Appeals Tribunal saw through you.”

He said it was a “crude” attempt to evade financial responsibility and a deterrent sentence was necessary. “This was a cynical and determined attempt to manipulate the court process,” he said.

In the 2011 hearing at the same court, Lesley Brogan was said to have filled out forms for her husband claiming he was a “cabbage” who needed round-the-clock care.

She claimed he was unable to walk after injuring his back in a fall and was incapable of looking after himself.

Yet all the time he was working as an extra in TV soaps and appeared alongside Sean Bean in the cult soccer film “When Saturday Comes.”

He learned to fly, went scuba diving in Cyprus on holiday and helped his wife run a successful security business from their former home.

They owned a BMW M3 convertible and a Mitsubishi Shogun. Lesley Brogan bought a plasma TV and treated herself to plastic surgery - all while claiming benefits.

Jailing her at the time Judge Jacqueline Davies said the couple had led a lifestyle “inconsistent with a family living exclusively on state benefits” and Lesley Brogan had shown “naked greed” in commiting the offences.