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Identity fraud case to feature on TV series
A WOMAN who maintained a stolen identity for 30 years is to feature on a BBC documentary about benefit cheats.
Nina Raymont was jailed last year after 30 years of living under a name she stole from a former room-mate at a mental hospital.
Her Crown Court trial in Oxford heard she had used the name Sandra Forshaw since 1982 to start a new life, travel the world and claim £30,000 in benefits.
The second instalment of the BBC’s Saints and Scroungers series, which focuses on benefit cheats and compares their situations with people who deserve Government help, will feature the extraordinary story tomorrowat 11am.
During the case, Oxford City Council investigators played a key role and their search for information took them back through the pages of history.
Council investigation manager Carol Quainton said it was the scope of their inquiries, not the level of benefits she swindled, which made the case unique.
She said: “She wasn’t the most devious person we’ve dealt with, but it was a very unusual case because of the length of time it went back and our ability to uncover the information and the evidence we did.
“The benefit claim only went back to 2009, but in order to prove what happened we had to unravel that identity, which went all the way back to the 1980s.”
Placed in a mental institution in Essex after her home was raided by drugs police in 1982, Raymont stole the name and documents of her room-mate Sandra Forshaw.
She managed to obtain a passport, travelled Europe, the USA and Guatemala where she married, gave birth to a daughter named Dorsha and adopted a son, Alex.
Until her prosecution last year, even Raymont’s children had no idea who she really was.
The real Sandra Forshaw was subsequently found. Ms Quainton said: “It wasn’t a disused name, it was her name, and she was a perfectly innocent person who had had her identity used for 30 years and had no knowledge whatsoever.”
Raymont, 59, of Lime Walk, Headington, Oxford, was given a one-year jail sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 250 hours’ unpaid work.
Ms Quainton and her team are feature in the programme.
The Oxford Mail’s coverage of the case, as well as interviews with former court reporter Thom Airs, are also included.