Dad jailed for faking daughter’s mental illness

A father has been jailed in Sweden after keeping his daughter in isolation for years and forcing her to pretend she had a mental illness in order to scoop millions in benefits.

The 46 year-old was sentenced to four years behind bars for aggravated fraud and benefit crimes, having received around SEK 2.4 million (EUR 266,000) between 2003 and 2010, supposedly for the girl’s care.

The case only came to light when the girl, now 18, ran away from her home in Malmö earlier in the year and reported her father for making threats against her. She had been kept away from society since she was seven, with her father claiming she could only communicate through noises and body language.

The man was found to have lied to the local authorities and to the National Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) to bag payments of SEK 25,000 (EUR 2,767) a week. His daughter was originally diagnosed with severe learning disabilities and autism, although tests since her escape have proved that she has a high level of mental capacity.

The teenager has now been placed in a youth home, while her father continues to assert that she is mentally ill.

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