A NEWPORT grandmother was convicted of benefit fraud by a jury at Newport crown court.

Gloria Taylor, aged 67, of Conway Road, denied obtaining property by deception when she made claims for income support to the Department of Work and Pensions (formerly the DSS).

During the week-long trial the court heard that Taylor, a mother of five and grandmother of nine, had bank accounts with thousands of pounds on deposit but told the court she did not know where the money came from.

Over a period of three years, Taylor's bank and building society accounts showed that more than £200,000 had been paid in but in a statement for state benefits she claimed she had no income or savings

She occasionally won money on the horses or the Pools and had been a saver since arriving in Britain from St Kitts, in the Caribbean, in 1960. The jury was told Taylor made false claims for income support between July 2001 and October 2003, amounting to £12,945.07.

Prosecutor Hilary Roberts said a building society account opened by Taylor in 1997 was closed in June 2002 with a withdrawal of £11,684.47.

Taylor had taken her family to St Kitts to visit relatives at a cost of £6,000 and she regularly paid into insurance schemes for her grandchildren. She also took a holiday in Barbados.

Taylor, who divorced her husband after 47 years of marriage, has acted as carer to both adult children and grandchildren.

She was principal carer to her son who died last year.

Her family life has been beset by tragedy. She lost one of her daughters at 22 from cancer leaving her to raise her grandson, Defended by Mary Parry-Evans, Taylor said she had always worked and had saved money from her income and money sent to her by her ex-husband when he worked for a time in Saudi Arabia.

She said she had never been in court in her life and the experience was one she would remember until the day she died. Taylor, who has no previous convictions, was remanded on conditional bail until October 7 for sentencing.