A German mum has appeared in court accused of injecting her four young children with unnecessary medicines and claiming they were sick in order to get benefits.
Maike Borkowski, 49, is accused of forcing her children to use wheelchairs and even demanding the local school spend 140,000 EUR (124,000 GBP) on a ramp and a special lift so they could get to classes.
She reportedly claimed that the children, who lived with her in the rural community of Lensahn in North Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein state, suffered from a variety of ailments, ranging from brittle bone disease through to haemophilia, rheumatism, asthma and a variety of allergies.
Yet the court heard that the claims her children were seriously ill which were made between 2010 and 2016 in order to get benefits were not true, and that in fact the children were in fact perfectly healthy.
Instead of playing with other children, they were allegedly forced to sit in wheelchairs for hours at a time, injected with medicines they did not need, and forced to attend endless visits to clinics and specialists as part of the scam to try and prove that they were really ill. The alleged scam meant that they very often missed school, and were unable to take part in activities that other children were enjoying, all so that the mother could line her pockets, the court heard.
The mum even went on German television to talk about what it was like to be the parent of a child suffering from brittle bone disease.
Teachers spoke about the fact that when her 18-year-old daughter Jennifer went to school, she was so desperate for her suffering to end that she scratched the word “Fuck” on her arm and told teachers: “I’m feeling sick, I don’t want to be here any more.”
Teachers had then raised the alarm with social workers pointing out that 18-year-old Jennifer wanted to live with her older sister aged 27, and the welfare officials then found she was not as sick as her mother claimed. They were assisted by the fact that neighbours raised the alarm about the fact that her children earlier seen in a wheelchair would be playing in the garden in the afternoon.
In total, the woman had five children, three sons aged 10, 15 and 17 and two daughters aged 18 and 27. The court case pertains only to the four children who were in her care and under age between 2010 and 2016.
Even teachers had reportedly noticed that the kids would occasionally leave their wheelchairs.
She managed to obtain benefits of 140,000 EUR (124,000 GBP) that she was not entitled to after faking the illnesses of her children, the court heard.
It was also alleged that the medicine that she was given to treat the illnesses that the children did not have meant that her house was full of prescription drugs worth more than 1 million EUR (885,000 GBP).
The doctor who testified as an expert witness said blood treatment medicine worth upwards of 100,000 (88,000 GBP) had been delivered to her doctor’s address which was meant for her children, and that a single injection for some of the health problems would cost up to 1,300 EUR (1,152).
He added: “And indeed she was giving her children weekly the injections herself.”
She is currently on trial at a court in the German city of Lubeck in Schleswig-Holstein over allegations of abuse of minors and serious commercial fraud.
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