Trial postponed after woman sacks her lawyers

Ms Foxley told Gloucestershire Crown Court she would be defending herself

Ms Foxley told Gloucestershire Crown Court she would be defending herself

First published in News
Last updated
Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Brendan McFadden
Wilts and Glos Standard by , Reporter

THE trial of a Cotswolds woman accused of claiming state benefits even though she had £200,000 in savings and a Swiss bank account has had to be postponed after she sacked her lawyers.

Caroline Foxley, 58, formerly of Broad Marston Lane, Mickleton, Glos, but now living in Exeter st, Teignmouth, Devon, was expected to stand trial on Monday, April 28.

But on Friday, April 25 Judge Jamie Tabor QC took the case out of the list for that day because Ms Foxley has dispensed with her solicitor and barrister and wants to defend herself.

Prosecutor Simon Burns said the trial would not be able to proceed because the defence had filed only a minimal response to the prosecution case.

Judge Tabor bailed Ms Foxley with a condition that she resides every night at the Devon address pending trial.

He said a new date would be set for the trial as soon as possible.

Ms Foxley is accused of claiming to have only £100 in the bank when she applied for benefits.

She told him she was concerned about the bail condition because she has not yet asked permission of the owner of that address to stay there long term. She was doing the equivalent of what young people call 'sofa surfing,' she said.

Judge Tabor told her she would have to stay there until such time as she applied to the court for any change of bail address.

He said a new date would be set for the trial as soon as possible.

Ms Foxley is accused of claiming to have only £100 in the bank when she applied for benefits.

She has pleaded not guilty to four charges alleging she was dishonest about her true capital assets. The charges relate to just over £20,000 she received in benefit payments from Cotswold District Council and the Department of Work and Pensions.

One charge alleges that on March 30, 2007 she failed to notify a change of her circumstances affecting her entitlement to benefit in that she did not declare assets in excess of the upper limit.

The second charge says that on 18th Sept 2007 she made a false representation by failing to declare her assets.

The third charge made a similar allegation relating to 30th Sept 2008 and the fourth relates to March 19th 2009.

Mr Burns said the Crown case is that when she applied for benefits she was asked whether she had any bank accounts and replied that she did - one with £100 in it.

"This is a case where there was a Swiss bank account and £200,000 in a UK branch," he said. "There are plenty of transactions and amounts in that account to indicate she was way above the limit (for receiving benefits)."

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