Infamous ‘Britain’s Worst Benefits Cheat’ Released Early After Fraudulent £750,000 Scam

Early Release for Pensioner Behind Massive Benefits Fraud

Ethel McGill, known as ‘Britain’s worst benefits cheat’ for a scam involving £750,000 through deception, has been released early from her prison sentence, serving less than half of her term.

Initially sentenced to five years and eight months in July 2019, McGill’s release in the ‘second half of 2022’ drew attention to the system’s ability to monitor such cases.

The Extent of McGill’s Fraud

McGill, an amateur actress, concealed her father’s death for 12 years to illegally claim his war pension and benefits, despite his passing in 2004.

She resorted to elaborate tactics, once using a friend to impersonate her deceased father.

Court Findings and Reaction

Liverpool Crown Court heard how McGill feigned dementia and mobility issues for over two decades, yet surveillance footage exposed her movements without aid, contradicting her claims.

Judge Steven Everett criticized her deception, highlighting the tarnishing of her father’s legacy and the authorities’ failure to detect the fraud.

Defence and Court Remarks

McGill’s defense argued for a lenient sentence, emphasizing her modest lifestyle. However, the judge countered, noting her significant earnings compared to an average person.

Prosecution’s Perspective

The prosecution highlighted the audacity of McGill’s fraud, describing it as the largest case of benefit fraud by an individual they had handled.

McGill was ordered to repay £200,500 or face an additional eight months of imprisonment.

Life Behind Bars and Unapologetic Attitude

McGill’s letters from prison portrayed a somewhat positive view of her incarceration, praising the facilities and opportunities available.

Despite her substantial scam and subsequent punishment, her tone appeared unapologetic and somewhat indifferent.

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