AN IPSWICH woman has been extradited to New South Wales to faces charges of fraud - because she claimed a carer's benefit for her sick husband while she was in jail for fraud, a court heard.
Elizabeth Anne Hayward, 44, fled to live in Springfield Lakes about 10 years ago after Work Cover allegedly discovered she had claimed almost $40,000 she wasn't entitled to.
Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Hayward had been awarded $100,000 to care for her husband after he suffered a back injury at work, but she was sent to prison for Centrelink fraud in 2003.
The court was told she continued to claim benefits from the government for about 12 months to care for her husband even though she was in jail.
Two New South Wales police arrived in Ipswich to execute a warrant and apply to take Hayward back to Tweed Local Court to face the outstanding charges. Hayward unsuccessfully applied for bail and police escorted her back to New South Wales.
Police will allege Hayward had been on the run for more than 10 years and was trying to avoid prosecution by living at the Springfield address since 2009.
Prosecutor Constable David Thiel said the only reason Hayward had fled was to "avoid prosecution and she was an unacceptable risk of reoffending".
Once police took Hayward back to NSW they discovered she had 19 outstanding warrants. Hayward's defence argued she would be willing to pay her own way to NSW to face court, but the magistrate refused bail given the considerable amount of money allegedly stolen and the fact she had been avoiding police for more than a decade.
The court heard Hayward had been living a quiet life while in Springfield Lakes and had stayed out of trouble since she moved to Ipswich.
NSW police will allege Hayward wasn't entitled to carer's benefits because if she was in jail, she couldn't care for her husband. All up they will allege she stole $38,656.56.
Her case will next be mentioned later in August.