The partner of a fraudster who stole a dead child’s identity and pretended she was a vicar to swindle benefits has to travel to Ireland to pay back the thousands of pounds she conned from the State, a court heard.
Yvonne Doyle conned the Department of Work and Pensions and a local council for 20 years, falsely claiming more than a quarter of a million pounds she was not entitled to.
The 64-year-old was jailed for seven years after stealing a dead four-year-old’s identity, using the name of Carol Ann Naylor, who died in 1951, posing as a vicar named Reverend Naylor and taking on the alias of Bridgette Meally, who died in 1999, to make the claims.
She was convicted of five counts of possession of an identity document (improperly obtained UK/Irish driving licence/passport) with intent, four counts of obtaining services by deception, one count of obtaining a money transfer by deception and eight counts of benefit frauds against the DWP and Milton Keynes Council, totalling £265,388 between 1990 and 2010.
However, despite a court ordering that she must pay back £107,000, the cash has not been received by the state because it is in an account her partner Patrick Meally can only access by travelling to Ireland and the police still have his passport.
A judge at Reading Crown Court heard that after various transfers the cash was sitting in Mr Meally’s Bank of Ireland account, but because the nearest branch is in the Republic of Ireland he must collect his passport and travel across the Irish Sea to make the payment.
Tim Naylor, prosecuting, said that all the cash was accounted for, but because Mr Meally also needs to present his passport at a branch it must be collected from Milton Keynes Police Station for him.
“The issue seems to be the release of funds from the Bank of Ireland, which would cover the amount ordered by your honour,” he said.
“The issue is Mr Meally is the account holder. He requires his passport to be able to access it.”
Judge Angela Morris demanded to know why the police still had Mr Meally’s passport, claiming she was loathe to burden the public purse with more court hearings.
“I don’t want to exercise the public purse here unnecessarily,” she added.
“Where is Mr Meally? If Mr Meally is living in the Aylesbury area it’s not a million miles away from Milton Keynes.
“Is there any reason Mr Meally cannot go to the police station to pick up his passport?”
Benjamin Seifert, defending, said Mr Meally did not want to deal with the police himself and has asked his solicitors to collect the document, as well as his driving licence, from the station for him.
“He is entitled to his passport – it’s his lawfully held passport.
“Mr Meally prefers not to have dealings with the police and wants to go through those instructing me.”
Judge Morris ordered that the passport be collected within two months so that the cash can be paid back to the victims as compensation as quickly as possible.
“I am very grateful to you in these circumstances, let’s get this passport back to Mr Meally so he can go and present it to the Bank of Ireland,” she added.
“It appears then that in these circumstances it is going to require a trip to Ireland. It must be quite easy to get a cheap flight to a destination where there is one of the bigger branches of the Bank of Ireland and get this sorted.”
The mother-of-two, Doyle, appeared at the hearing on Tuesday via videolink from HMP Askham Grange woman’s open prison where she is serving a seven-year sentence for the frauds.
Doyle, from Borodin Court, Milton Keynes, was ordered to repay £107,584.10 from her husband’s bank account within six months in August last year or serve an extra two years’ imprisonment.
During her trial, the court heard that Doyle refused to appear before magistrates at an earlier hearing in January 2011, instead sending a letter claiming she was subject to a fatwa which had led to the “trumped-up” charges against her.
She claimed the charges against her were fabricated and wrote: “The alleged amounts have been manufactured and this was done in order to give the false appearance of high value crime.”
Doyle added: “I do not believe I will get a fair trial due to the involvement of Jews and freemasons.
“In 1988 a fatwa, for want of a better word, was declared on me by the chief Rabbi of South Africa.”
The fatwa was behind the charges, she claimed.
Doyle fled South Africa in the 1980s after being accused of dumping a swastika-emblazoned pig’s head on the steps of a synagogue.
The con-artist, who was then using then going by the name Yvonne Malone, also evaded a charge of attempted murder in 1988 after she shot and wounded a gardener at her property in Durban.
She was branded “clever, manipulative, bold and wholly dishonest” by prosecutors during her trial.
She stashed away disability and housing benefits for more than 20 years, also pretended she was disabled and needed a wheelchair although witnesses told how they had seen her walking and gardening quite happily.
The jury had been told that Doyle orchestrated the fraudulent enterprise which saw her obtain birth and marriage certificates for people both alive and dead in a bid to steal their identities.
The conwoman then used the documents to obtain driving licences, passports and national insurance numbers which she utilised to acquire credit and defraud the department of Work and Pensions by claiming benefits, council tax and housing benefit in respect of various addresses, disability living allowances for herself and carers’ allowance benefit.
Police found a suitcase dubbed a “fraudsters tool kit” containing a haul of fake identification documents when they raided Doyle’s daughter’s home in Borodin Court, Old Farm Park, Milton Keynes.