Russian foster mother ‘starved boy to steal his benefits’
- Lyubov Korotkova is accused of starving and poisoning her orphan foster son
- Prosecutors say woman, in her mid-40s, deliberately malnourished son Valery and fed him pills to fake the symptoms of a rare stomach condition
- She then registered him as disabled to claim benefits which she stole, cops say
- Korotkova is facing up to 10 years in jail on charges of neglect and fraud
Published: 11:19 EST, 14 November 2017 | Updated: 11:34 EST, 14 November 2017
A 'wicked' Russian foster mother reduced the boy she cared for to skin and bones so she could claim sickness benefits which she frittered away, it is alleged.
Lyubov Korotkova is accused of starving her orphan foster son Valery Kondourov for eight years and drugging him in a bid to convince doctors he had a rare disease.
At the age of 11 Kondourov weighed less than two stone which 'put his life in danger', and measured 3ft 5ins tall, typical for a child half his age.
Valery Kondourov, 11, an orphaned boy from Russia, was starved and poisoned by his foster mother so she could claim his sick benefits, it is alleged (pictured left when he was removed from her care in May, and right, today)
Lyubov Korotkova (right) is facing ten years in jail over allegations she abused Valery. Prosecutors say she hid the abuse from husband Andrei (left)
State investigators in Russia accuse Koprotkova – in her late 40s – of hatching a plan to claim bogus benefits by malnourishing the child so that he appeared seriously ill.
She starved him and 'made him take medical drugs to build up a clinical manifestation of a stomach disease,' said a law enforcement source.
'Having cheated the doctors, she managed to register her child as handicapped ….and started receiving financial assistance, compensation and other allowances.'
She stole £20,000 in state benefits but also received money from charities – which she 'frittered on luxuries', according to reports.
The charges against her include fraud and causing 'deliberate health damage' to the child for which she faces up to 10 years in jail.
The case, which originated in the town of Magadan, came to light in May.
Prosecutors say Korotkova deprived Valery of food and fed him pills which made him sick in order to fake a rare stomach condition
Aged 11 Valery weighed just two stone and measured 3ft 5ins, typical for a boy half his age. He could still fit into the clothes he owned when he was adopted, aged 3 (pictured)
Locals viewed Korotkova as a hero for taking care of the sick boy, and it was only children's ombudsman Anna Kuznetsova (right) intervened that he was taken away from her
Korotkova conned local officials who saw her as heroic for helping the 'seriously ill' boy and, as recently as June, city mayor Yury Grishan demanded the child should be returned to her, it is claimed.
Kremlin children's ombudsman Anna Kuznetsova stepped in to prevent the child being returned to the foster mother.
Valery had no medical condition apart from the damage caused by Korotkova and is now recovering, it is alleged.
The woman hid her devious scheme from her own husband, Andrei, it is claimed.
She home schooled the boy so he was not seen by teachers.
The child was petrified of eating in the presence of his foster mother who fed him small quantities of porridge and fish before giving him drugs making him sick.
At 11, he still fitted the same clothes he wore at the orphanage, aged three, when she began fostering him.Let's