Duke of Wellington's descendant saves his benefits cheat lover from jail after paying back 100,000 she stole with Coutts cheque from trust fund
Paula Carlton claimed 107,705 over a 10 year period
Her aristocratic partner Richard Wellesley has paid back her benefits bill
She was living with Wellington's great-great-great-great grand nephewMother claimed Richard Wellesley was her landlord but he is her lover
13:44 GMT, 7 December 2012
A wealthy descendent of the Duke of Wellington saved his lover from prison today – by paying back the 100,000 of benefits she fiddled using money from his own trust fund.
Cheating Paula Carton, 49, illegally claimed 100,000 of benefits as a single mother while she was in a relationship with aristocrat Richard Wellesley.
Carton faced a prison sentence unless her aristocratic lover could pay back the benefits bill – which he did after securing an advance from his trust fund, held by the Queen's bankers Coutts.
A court heard Mr Wellesley, 39, picks up 30,000-a-year from trust funds set up for descendants of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington.
Paula Carton cheated the taxpayer of more than 100,000 in housing benefits while living with Richard Wellesley, a descendant of the Duke of Wellington
The home in Pontypool, South Wales, where Carton lived with Mr Wellesley throughout the 10 years she committed the fraud
Carton was let off an immediate jail
sentence – after Mr Wellesley promised a judge he would pay back every
penny she cheated from the taxpayer.
Mr Wellesley was true to his word – and paid the money over before Carton was due back in court yesterday.
The court heard he secured an advance on his trust fund held by Coutts, the Queen's bankers, to pay back what she had taken.
He can trace his ancestry back to the Duke of Wellington, has a handsome trust fund and owns a portfolio of properties.
She has far humbler origins, eight children from a disastrous marriage, and is ten years his senior.
Richard Wellesley, a great-great-great-great nephew of the famous Iron
Duke, and Paula Carton became unlikely lovers, had two children – the
first when he was 17 – and set up home together.
Luxury: Paula Carton claimed she lived alone at their home in Pontypool, South Wales, pictured centre
Carton's fraud and their surprising relationship were laid bare in court when Carton, 49, pictured was spared jail as Mr Wellesley, 39, promised a judge he would pay back every penny she had cheated from the taxpayer
Posing as a single mother, she claimed 107,705 in housing benefits and
income support over ten years while they shared a 250,000 detached
Victorian house bought for them by his mother.
Her fraud and their surprising relationship were laid bare in court when
Carton, 49, was spared jail as Mr Wellesley, 39, promised a judge he
would pay back every penny she had cheated from the taxpayer.
He receives 38,400 a year from trust funds set up for descendants of
Arthur Wellesley, the original Duke of Wellington, who became a hero
after defeating Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, set up a trust fund for his descendants including Richard Wellesley, his brother's great-great-great grandson
Wellesley’s great-great-great grandfather was a brother of the duke.
appeared at Cardiff Crown Court walking with the aid of a crutch, had
pretended Mr Wellesley was her landlord and she paid rent to him.
Council investigators became suspicious because utility and Sky TV
subscription bills were in his name at their address in the village of
Abersychan, near Pontypool, South Wales.
Gareth James, prosecuting, said: 'After she was investigated by fraud
officers she admitted, “He is a little more than a landlord”.'
He added that she would not have been entitled to any of the money
because of Mr Wellesley’s lineage and wealth. The court heard Carton had
a difficult life after being abandoned by her mother to be brought up
in an Irish convent.
At 16 she married a man of 49 with whom she had an
abusive relationship, eight children and two miscarriages.
She formed a relationship with Mr Wellesley when she was living on a
farm in Ireland owned by his mother. In 1995, Mr Wellesley began to
study at Aberystwyth University and she and her children followed him to
She went on to receive income support of 54,817 and housing
benefit of 52,888 by claiming she was a ‘lone parent living with ten
Carton had pretended Mr Wellesley was her landlord of the big property, pictured, and she paid rent to him
Lavish: An aerial view of the large house where Carton lived with her partner Richard Wellesley
Richard Wellesley is the great-great-great grandson of Baron Cowley, Henry Wellesley, pictured here with Lord Clarendon
Andrew Gregg, defending, said: ‘She found it difficult to define her
relationship with Mr Wellesley and that is why she began claiming these
Carton has ‘physical conditions and depression’ and is awaiting an operation on her back, he added.
After leaving university Mr Wellesley earned meagre wages working at a
builders’ merchant and did not receive money from the trust funds until
the death of his mother three years ago, Mr Gregg said.
children are aged between 32 and 19, admitted four charges of benefit
The court heard Mr Wellesley owns at least three houses, taking
1,800-a-month rent from one property in Bristol.
He is paid 700 a
month from one trust fund and 7,500 a quarter from another.
He gave an undertaking under oath from the witness box that the cash
advance on his trust fund would be used to repay taxpayers.