A THREE-year investigation has led to a mother and son from Hayes being prosecuted for tenancy fraud.

For 10 years, Doreen Bailey, 68, and her son Neil Mockford, 38, failed to inform the council that Doreen no longer lived at her council property at Hobart Lane, Yeading.

Both pleaded guilty to fraud by failure to disclose information and making false representations to continue the tenancy.

At Isleworth Crown Court, they were each sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work and a £500 penalty. Mockford was also given a nine-month suspended prison sentence.

The property was recovered by the council in 2019.

The case came to the council’s attention following an anonymous tip-off.

Fraud officers discovered that between 2008 and 2018, Doreen Bailey (previously known as Mockford) claimed to be living at the four-bedroom home despite moving to a different address in Hayes after remarrying in 2008.

In 2012, she falsely signed her tenancy verification form in her former surname, declaring she was still occupying the Hobart Lane property.

Her son – who was living in the property – continued the deception by falsely completing electoral records (on eight occasions) declaring his mother was staying there.

Mockford first denied but later admitted to sub-letting some rooms.

The fraud meant the council was potentially out of pocket by £161,000 – the equivalent cost to house a family in need in emergency accommodation over a 10-year period.

Cllr Martin Goddard, cabinet member for finance said: “Thanks to the work of our counter-fraud team, their blatant dishonesty and attempts to cover up their fraudulent scheme caught up with them.

“Thankfully, in this case, we have recovered the property, which has now been let to a genuine family in need.”