Child Abuse

Mother Jailed for Forcing Children Through Horrible Medical Procedures in Years-Long Financial Scam

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188075227The world is full of children suffering and dying for lack of access to necessary medical care, but this week one British mother has received a long and well-deserved jail sentence for forcing her small children through painful, harmful, unnecessary medical procedures, allegedly just to benefit financially.

According to the Telegraph, the mother has been claiming her children have had significant medical problems for over a decade. She’s been benefiting financially from the claim, but as part of her charade she has reportedly been forcing her children to go through extreme medical procedures including surgeries and steroid prescriptions, none of which were necessary.

The extent of the torture and fraud is inconceivable. How did this woman even convince doctors to do some of the procedures that were allegedly done to these children? Claiming asthma or autism or allergies is one thing, sure, a doctor would probably believe a mother who said that. But the woman’s son reportedly “had an irreversible operation to reduce his stomach capacity by 20 percent.” and both her children were outfitted with feeding tubes. The Telegraph says the woman’s daughter was fed at school twice a day through a feeding tube, but she was capable of eating normally. Her son was prescribed steroids for asthma, which prosecutors say he did not have.

One pediatrician reportedly thought something was amiss about the children’s “medical problems” and the mother’s claims, but it sounds like his warnings were ineffective, and the other doctors–allegedly very well-regarded specialists at several leading hospitals–trusted the word of the woman who appeared to be a legitimately distraught mother.

The mother allegedly put her kids through this torture for financial gain, and The Telegraph reports that over the course of more than a decade of medical misrepresentation, she managed to claim £375,000 in fraudulent funds for her children’s care and procedures. Part of that fraud was also saying she was a single mother, when really she was living with her children’s employed father. He was also arrested and charged, but it is unclear what the court has in store for him.

“So serious the degree of financial loss… makes this case one of the largest benefits overpayments attributable to a single claimant which the Department for Work and Pensions has recorded,” the prosecutor said.

£375,000 is a lot of money, but the financial element of the woman’s crimes pales next to the monumental evil of making healthy children undergo invasive surgeries and eat through tubes as part of a con.

This week the woman was found guilty of four counts of child cruelty, seven counts of making a false representation, two counts of obtaining money by false representation and two counts of fraud by false representation. A judged sentenced her to the maximum penalty of seven and a half years.