BBC benefits fraud DJ spared jail
A DJ who fraudulently claimed more than £18,000 in benefits while working for the BBC's Asian Network walked free from court yesterday.
Lubna Qazi, who had faced a jail term of up to three months, was given a conditional discharge after being told her case was exceptional because of her care for her severely disabled husband.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that Qazi (53) began to claim carer's allowance after her husband suffered a stroke in 2002.
But she then failed to declare that she was receiving an income in excess of the permitted £95-per-week limit while claiming the benefit for almost seven years.
Passing sentence, Recorder Collingwood Thompson QC said benefit fraud was easy to commit and hard to detect.
The judge told Qazi: “You have pleaded guilty to obtaining just over £18,000 worth of benefits to which you were not entitled.
“I have to say, though, that this is an exceptional case. You have been virtually the sole carer for you husband since 2002.”
Qazi, of Colmore Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, was ordered to pay £100 in costs and has agreed to pay compensation of £17,414.