Carer prosecuted after claiming allowance for dead father

A WOMAN who was caring for her father has been prosecuted by South Gloucestershire Council for continuing to claim payments after he died.

Natalie Newcombe, of Emersons Green, was employed by her father as a personal assistant under a care plan he received via the council, which allowed him to appoint his own carers.

She was paid by the council for the hours that she cared for him.

However when Mr Newcombe died in April 2020 the council was not informed.

A spokesperson said that four months later his daughter was contacted and asked whether she was continuing to support him.

The spokesperson said: “She replied confirming she was, and claimed funding from April 2020 to October 2020, which she was not entitled to.

“In November 2020 the council became aware of Mr Newcombe’s death and prevented any further payments.”

“The council tried to contact Natalie Newcombe several times to discuss the matter, but she failed to respond.”

The council said that after its internal audit team identified fraud had taken place the case was investigated by its trading standards team, who identified her whereabouts in February the following year.

She admitted the fraud and made an agreement with the council to repay £6,507.

The council spokesperson added: “Newcombe was given several opportunities to resolve the matter informally and repay the money to the council, but she failed to do so.

“As such, she was interviewed under caution in May 2023, when she admitted she knew what she had done was wrong.

“She claimed that she had used the money for her father’s funeral and was given the opportunity to provide evidence to support this, but didn’t.

“As a result, a charge of fraud was laid against her.”

Newcombe, aged 35, pleaded guilty to the fraud charge but failed to attend three sentencing hearings, and on March 18 this year, Bristol magistrates issued a warrant for her arrest.

She handed herself in and on March 28 she was given a 12-week suspended prison sentence, ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and repay the council £6,507.

Trading standards service manager Shaun Fudge said: “This result follows close working between the council’s finance officers and Trading Standards team to investigate this matter.

“It’s important that the council’s limited funds go to those that are entitled to them and, where we identify fraud has been committed, we will take action to recover any money that has been wrongly claimed.

“A fraud conviction on your record will not be viewed favourably and can seriously harm your employment prospects.”

The council encouraged anyone who thinks someone may be misusing funds intended for care and support to visit the fraud prevention and detection pages on its website at