A mum who shaved her young son's head and eyebrows and pretended he had cancer so she could cheat the state out of benefits was jailed for three years nine months today.
The 36-year-old from the Stroud area put her son in a wheelchair and made him wear a bandana on his shaven head to support her false claim that he was seriously ill, Gloucester Crown Court was told.
Wearing a bandana led to him being ridiculed and bullied by other children.
Her frauds paid for luxuries including a holiday in Florida - where she wheeled her son around in a wheelchair so they could jump queues at theme parks.
The mum of five also made false claims on behalf of a daughter whom she claimed was suffering from an auto-immune disease.
In total she obtained more than £85,000 in benefits and tax credits between October 2007 and February 2011.
Jailing her for a total of three years nine months Judge Jamie Tabor QC told her that her offences had "potentially caused serious long term emotional and psychological harm" to her son.
See tomorrow's Citizen for the full story.