07 September 2006

How lucky they just happened to be watching

When Ruth Byron told women’s magazines and television chat shows about a condition that caused her to experience up to 40 orgasms a day, the Department of Work and Pensions took a keen interest.

For the 50-year-old woman spoke not only about living with persistent sexual arousal syndrome — but also with a 22-year-old lodger. Benefit fraud investigators carefully monitored media coverage about Byron and realised that Simon Leach, the man she claimed was her lodger, was in fact her lover. They found that she had been overpaid £6,097 in housing and income benefits after lying to the department.

Yesterday Byron was sentenced to a two-year community rehabilitation order and told to pay £50 costs after she admitted four counts of benefit fraud.

- The Times, 24 August 2006

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