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Mum of dead soldier says 'cloud of grief' over his death made her falsely claim over Sh2 million in benefits

By Mirror | March 22nd 2016
Allan Binnie and Janette Binnie during the burial of their 22-year-old son {Photo Courtesy}

A benefits cheat blamed the "cloud of grief" following the death of her soldier son for her falsely claiming £25,000 of welfare.

Jobless Janette Binnie fraudulently received thousands of pounds in handouts while living with husband Alan over the past four years.

Alan was in work, meaning she wasn't entitled to any support.

But the 48-year-old said she was so overwhelmed by her son's tragic death - who died while serving in Afghanistan in 2009 - she simply forgot to tell jobcentre bosses she no longer needed help.

Janette, from Crimond, Aberdeenshire, also claims she had not realised she was doing anything wrong.

Janette's son Sean Binnie died in 2009 at the age of 22 while serving with the Black Watch in Afghanistan.

Since her son's death, Janette said she had struggled to cope with day-to-day life.

Janette said: "The thought I've let my son down, that I've dishonoured him, was hard.

"So many things happen when you lose a child, and I don't have any real, close family members.

"Alan is my best friend, so it just felt normal to be here and with him.

"I didn't know I was doing anything wrong - I just didn't keep on top of paperwork, to be honest.

"But it's done now, and I've been punished."

She added: "I have been living in a cloud for the last seven years.

"I wasn't reading correspondence.

"I'm going to get the support I need to deal with his death and to deal with life without him."

Janette admitted to fraudulently claiming £25,016.60 between June 6, 2012, and January 27 this year.

At Peterhead Sherriff Court on Monday, she was given a 250-hour community payback order which she must complete in 18 months.

Sean, an acting sergeant in the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Regiment, was killed when he was shot in the chest near Musa Qala in the Helmand region of Afghanistan.

He had been rushing to the aid of two Afghan soliders who were under Taliban fire.

Sean was buried in Belfast near his widow Amanda's home.

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