Benefits fraudster who swindled £191,000 by claiming she was confined to a wheelchair but was caught on CCTV using the treadmill at her luxury block’s private gym is jailed for seven years 

A benefits cheat who swindled the taxpayer out of £191,000 and acquired a £1million property portfolio without ‘ever working a single day’ has been jailed for seven years.

Ghanaian-born Angel Jackson, 52, established a complex web of lies to claim housing benefit, income support and compensation between 2002 and 2012.

She claimed she was confined to a wheelchair but was spotted on CCTV using the treadmill at her luxury block’s private gym.

Jackson claimed for properties she didn’t live in, in the names of people who didn’t exist, and for accidents that didn’t happen.

The prosecution at Croydon Crown Court even admitted that they didn’t know her real name or date of birth.

This afternoon, Jackson was jailed after being found guilty of 32 charges relating to her ten-year fraud campaign.

Locking her up, Judge Adam Hiddleston described her as a ‘vain and self-important person’ with a ‘staggering contempt for the court’.

He added: ‘You are a thoroughly dishonest person. You are a professional fraudster. It is your life’s work.

‘You have taken and taken and taken and it would appear, you have never given anything back.

‘How many school places or hospital beds could have been provided by the local authorities with the money you took?’

Jackson, who already owned a house in Mitcham, south London, bought two swanky flats in the same block, complete with its own gym, in Croydon in 2005 for more than £300,000, and fraudulently claimed housing benefit for each of them.

She also tried to wring every penny in compensation from two car accidents using invented passengers, only to be caught when doctors spotted two separate x-rays on two separate claims were almost identical.

Prosecutor Francesca Levett told Croydon Crown Court Jackson had lied to the local authorities and the DWP for more than a decade and defrauded the authorities out of £191,414.

Angel Jackson appeared at Croydon Crown Court for the trial in her wheelchair

Angel Jackson appeared at Croydon Crown Court for the trial in her wheelchair

She said: ‘Far from being an honest claimant, who turned to the authorities because she was genuinely in need, she manipulated the system, told countless lies, hijacked identities and defrauded her way into becoming an affluent property owner without ever working a single day.

Although the authhorities believe she is Ghanaian, Ms Levett told the jury: ‘We do not actually know the true identity of the defendant, nor do we know her true date of birth.’

When her home was raided in September 2012, officers found £22,000 in £50 notes hidden in a wardrobe, reams of counterfeit paperwork and 12 mobile phones.

Jackson lured her soon-to-be husband, Irish-born Thomas Duffy, by telling him she was a ‘lady of traditional values’, before buying a house with him in August 2002 – while still claiming housing benefit – and going behind his back to obtain his UK residency to support her own.

The pair had married on Valentines Day 2002, but she stopped him from telling his family and yet she didn’t even allow him to live with her.

Ms Levett said: ‘This was very far from a happy, new marriage, as not only did Mr Duffy not live with his wife, but the marriage wasn’t ever consummated.’

The court heard that ‘whenever he needed to sign something presented to him by his wife, his glasses would disappear’.

Ms Levett said: ‘It appears that Mr Duffy was used by his wife to purchase a property she had no intention of sharing with him.’

In July 2005, Jackson bought another property, a £150,000 flat in south London, in her husband’s name, without him knowing – and two months later bought another flat in the same building, this time in her own name, for £152,500.

Ms Levett said: ‘Not only did she fail to notify the authorities that she had purchased yet another property, but she then applied for housing benefit, claiming that she lived there and did not own her own property.’

She lied to her husband that home they owned together was being repossessed and that he had to move out – all to support a claim she had made on a housing benefit form.

Ms Levett said: ‘Mr Duffy describes himself as so confused and afraid. He had lost everything, yet still the defendant collected his wages every week.

‘He was depressed and fragile, frightened to open his door.’

Benefits fraudster Angel Jackson

Benefits fraudster Angel Jackson

Jackson rented out one of the flats she had bought and in March 2011, a couple agreed to move into one of Jackson’s properties after meeting her.

However, Jackson told them her name was Jules and that the landlord was her husband ‘Alan Davies’.

She prohibited her new tenants from claiming benefits or contacting the council for any reason and charged them £880 per month.

But unbeknownst to the couple, Jackson was also claiming £600 a month in housing benefit on the flat, using the name Angel Jackson.

Ms Levett said: ‘So, once the mortgage was paid, the defendant was doing very well financially, by getting two lots of rent for one property.’

A few months later, in July, the new tenants complained about broken appliances and revealed to Jackson that they had contacted the Citizen’s Advice Bureau about the matter.

Ms Levett said: ‘The defendant became very angry. She threatened to throw them out straight away.

‘The following day, just six days after their full month’s rent had been paid, the defendant attended at their home address with a number of big men, and proceeded to remove all of their belongings from the flat.’

In June 2007, an ‘Angel Duffy’ claimed for an apparent car accident in which she had suffered whiplash and a burned ankle while her husband was driving.

She claimed that her friend, ‘Angel Jackson’, her daughter Latoya and another friend named Fifi were also injured in the crash.

Jackson said she had employed a carer called Hannah, Ms Levett said, adding: ‘Hannah apparently provided care for Angel and Latoya for an impossible 27 hours a day.

‘Their total claim for care and assistance was over £53,000 for a ten month period.’

Jackson also claimed £24,000 for an osteopath, falsified evidence of which was found on her computer.

 You are a thoroughly dishonest person. You are a professional fraudster

Ms Levett added: ‘The fact that she had invoices purportedly from Hanna on her computer, together with letters from Angel Jackson, Latoya Jackson, Fifi and Angel Duffy, wholeheartedly indicates that the defendant hijacked identities, and did so comfortably.’

‘Her deception came to light when the x-rays of Angela Duffy and the x-rays of Angel Jackson revealed the same degenerative changes in the spine that were beyond coincidence.’

Both Duffy and Jackson also said they were dance instructors and each claimed for flat shoes at a cost of more than £600.

Appearing via video link from HMP Bronzefield in Surrey, and wearing a tan-coloured coat, Jackson made no reaction as Judge Adam Hiddleston called her a ‘vain and self-important person’.

He called called the evidence against her ‘totally overwhelming’ and said she had shown a ‘remarkably staggering contempt for the court’.

He added: ‘You created numerous personalities, changed your name, created false documentation, you even deceived your own ex-husband, taking everything he had, including his dignity.’

Jackson was sentenced for four-and-a-half years for the fraud, two years for creating false documents, and six months for illegally evicting the tenants – all to be served consecutively.

Read more:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s