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Mum took €5k welfare for jailed ex-partner

A MOTHER-of-two has been jailed for 10 months for welfare fraud after collecting her ex-partner's disability allowance while he was in prison.

Olivia Hendrick (37) was sentenced after she admitted stealing nearly €5,000 by claiming benefits for her former partner over an 11-month period.

A judge gave her consecutive jail sentences after she admitted 23 counts of theft at a post office in west Dublin.

Dealer

He refused to suspend any of the sentence despite her solicitor's insistence that Hendrick, a convicted drug dealer, was a "poster girl for reformative justice".

The accused, with an address at Hyde Park Convent, Grace Park Road, Dublin 9, pleaded guilty to theft at Claddagh Green Post Office, Ballyfermot on dates between late 2008 and November 2009.

Det Gda Ronan Coffey of Ballyfermot Station told the court the accused's former partner was imprisoned in Mountjoy on December 9, 2008 and after this, on 23 occasions, she presented herself at the post office to collect his disability allowance. She was paid a total of €4,857.

Hendrick had 25 previous convictions, the most recent of which was in October 2010.

Her criminal record included convictions for offences including bringing drugs into a prison and possession of drugs with intent to sell or supply.

She had been given a seven-year sentence for this offence.

Hendrick had come under the influence of a "bullying partner" who was a "strong personality", Cahir O'Higgins, her solicitor, said.



charges

"She is someone who has clearly got her act together," he told the judge. "She is a poster girl for reformative justice."

Judge Victor Blake imposed three three-month sentences and one term of one-month imprisonment, making them consecutive.

He took the rest of the charges into consideration and refused to suspend any portion. Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal.

aphelan@herald.ie


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