A trainee oncologist has escaped jail after he fraudulently claimed over £20,000 for a child the authorities claim did not exist.
Bedford Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday that 32-year-old Olayinka Ajadi, of Palgrave Road, Bedford, dishonestly made false statements to claim income support, housing benefit and council tax between 2010 and 2013.
Nigerian Ajadi was also charged with being knowingly concerned in fraudulant activity to claim child tax credit and working tax.
He claimed benefits from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), Bedford Borough Council and HM Revenue and Customs.
Prosecuting on behalf of the DWP Michael Gallacher said: “This is a serious case of fraud by the deception and manipulation of the benefits system.
“He fraudulently obtained benefits from the benefits system, as he was claiming for a child that did not exist.
“He made declarations that he had a child called Rose Hope, but when those claims were looked into – checks with the hospital, etc – it transpired that the child not exist.”
Mr Ajadi admitted the charges in February.
Defending Tim Dutton said: “Mr Ajadi refutes the allegations that Rose does not exist. His daughter Rose does exist and was in this country, and his partner did exist and was in the country.
“But as far as the authorities are concerned they do not exist because they did not have the correct paperwork to be here.”
But Mr Gallacher told the court at the time of the alleged birth no bank transactions could be found relating to the payment of anything to do with children, and there was no child born under that name at the hospital he stated.
Ajadi claims that he was in a relationship with a woman who became pregnant with his child. He tried to support them while studying, but was unable to so they returned to their home country, Nigeria.
But he continued to claim for benefits, even though the ‘child’ did not live with him. He says he used the money obtained to help pay for his mum’s medication for schizophrenia in Nigeria and treatment for his dad.
Mr Gallacher said: “The current situation Mr Ajadi is in is he is training to be a radiographer oncologist.
“He is intelligent and is set to be a huge benefit to society, in particular helping cancer patients.”
Ajadi also has a 16-year-old and one-year-old he is supporting.
Magistrate Keith Ford sentenced Ajadi to an 18-week custodial sentence for each charge to run at the same time, suspended for two years.
He will be under probation supervision for one year and must carry out 180 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.