VILE mum Karen Matthews enjoys a life of takeaways, scratch cards and manicures thanks to £300-a-week benefits package.

Matthews, 44, dubbed 'Britain's worst mum', was jailed in 2008 for plotting to profit from the staged kidnap of her nine-year-old daughter Shannon in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

Matthews, who has seven children by five men, lives under a new name in the South of England after serving her eight-year sentence.

She rakes in the equivalent of around £300-a-week in cash and housing for her free cosy one-bedroom garden flat.

Matthews also has free bus travel.

The 44-year-old is a regular visitor to manicure bars in the town, the local branch of McDonald's and enjoys bags of sweets and chocolate bars from high street discount stores.

She also has a 10-a-day smoking habit, regularly plays lottery scratch cards and enjoys chip butties from the local fish shop.

A pal in her hometown told The Sun Online: "She gets everything paid for and her life is pretty sorted and stable. She can’t work because of who she is so gets everything on a plate.

"She lives in a garden flat in a nice town, with a bus stop nearby. She Facetimes family and friends all the time on a smartphone.

"Karen always has cash for a McDonald's, fags and the lottery and she's always getting her nails done.

"She’s always got sweets and chocolate in her bag and enjoys the chippie but doesn’t reckon they are as good as ones up north. She’s not keen on the fish they serve."


Last week The Sun revealed how her new fiance Paul Saunders, 57, is a convicted paedophile.

Handyman Saunders was locked up after he admitted sexual activity with a teen, making indecent images of her and sex assault.

Saunders, who is on the sex offenders register, proposed at Christmas.

Matthews was dubbed Britain's worst mum after she was jailed for eight years for her role in Shannon's staged kidnap.

Shannon was found hidden under a bed in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, 24 days after she vanished in 2008.

For more than three weeks Karen played the tearful victim, pleading for the return of her “beautiful princess daughter”.

Shannon was found alive and well at the home of 39-year-old Michael Donovan, uncle to Karen’s boyfriend at the time.

Evil Karen and Donovan were later found to have plotted the kidnapping in order to claim a £50,000 reward.

A police probe found evidence she had been drugged. Shannon is now living under a new identity.

Matthews was released in April 2012 after serving half her eight year sentence.

In an interview last year Matthews said: “I’m not Britain’s worst mum. I didn’t kill anybody.

“I’m scared I’ll die lonely and alone.”

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