Ex-beauty queen is cleared 
of fraud

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A former Miss Britain competitor wept in the dock as she was found not guilty of benefits fraud.

Rachel Hatton, 29, had denied falsely claiming thousands of pounds in benefits as a single parent from South Northamptonshire Council.

Prosecutors alleged she had been in a relationship with her landlord, Nathaniel Simon, and continued to claim benefits from South Northamptonshire Council while they lived together in a four-bedroom house he owned in Foxfield Way, Grange Park, Northampton.

But the court heard that while Miss Hatton told Department for Work and Pensions investigators she had slept with Mr Simon a couple of times, they had never been in a relationship and he had never even spent the night.

“I’ve never had a relationship with Nathaniel,” she said in interview. “He’s not the sort of guy I would want a relationship with, to be honest.

“He’s my landlord. I can probably understand how it looks now I’ve been brought in but there’s no relationship at all.”

Miss Hatton, of Foxfield Way, was cleared of one count of making false representation, two counts of fraud by failing to disclose information and a further count of fraud by false representation over a two-year period between 2009 and 2011 in relation to the benefits claims.

Mr Simon, of the same address, was acquitted of furnishing false information in relation to the tenancy agreement he and Miss Hatton had, and another charge of fraud by failing to disclose information.

Mr Simon, 36, hugged blonde Miss Hatton, a mother-of-one who was the first single parent/divorcee to be allowed to enter the Miss Great Britain competition, in the dock as the verdict was delivered.

Jurors had heard that Miss Hatton told investigators the situation between her and Mr Simon was “open and flexible” – he had a key to the property and they would sometimes eat together or watch television in the evening, and she occasionally did his washing.

He was also insured to drive her white Audi car and the pair had been on holiday together to Turkey.

The pair said Mr Simon slept in a caravan on the driveway of the house while she lived inside.