A Greenock mum who has severe epilepsy which causes her to slip into unconsciousness and suffer memory blanks has been branded a ‘liar’ by a court tribunal.

Devastated Pauline Wotherspoon, 42, went to the panel to fight a decision by benefit bosses to deny her lifeline disability benefits.

But after pleading with the three members at a hearing in Greenock, she was sent a damning judgement accusing her of being ‘untruthful and unreliable’, ‘lacking credibility’ and guilty of ‘exaggeration’.

Pauline was diagnosed with grand mal epilepsy when she was seven, has faced a battle with eating disorder bulimia since she was a teenager and has been suicidal in the past.

But despite her complex medical history she has now had her disability benefit axed.

The mum-of-two, from Cawdor Crescent, told the Clydebank Post: “It is not even the money. It is the fact that they are calling me a liar. It is such a cruel process. I tried to answer as best I could but they have turned everything against me.

“They are saying that what has happened to me isn’t real.

“I have been suicidal because no-one would want this life. It is no life at all but I need to cope with it every day.”

Pauline, who lives with her husband Thomas, 59, and her son Kyle, 13, suffers from at least one seizure a week which leave her unable to go out on her own.

She said: “After a seizure I don’t even remember who my husband or my children are. 

“I have lost count of the amount of burns or injuries I have from taking seizures over the years.

“But unless it is a continuous seizure I no longer go to hospital. 

“There is no point, they can’t do anything other than put you on a bed and I can do that at home. Most epileptics don’t go to hospitals.

“I am in A&E taking up a bed that could be used for someone with a heart attack or a stroke.

“I take up to eight tablets every morning before I even start my day but my epilepsy can be triggered in many ways.”

As a teenager Pauline developed an eating disorder as a result of cruel comments at school and has other mental health illnesses.

Pauline, whose older daughter Natalie, 27, has moved out, had been claiming disability living allowance for the last 27 years, which amounted to about £73 per week until it was replaced by personal independent payments (PIP).

The benefit helps with the extra costs caused by disability or ill health.

Pauline applied for PIP but was refused by the Department for Work and Pensions.

She appealed their decision to the HM Courts and Tribunals Service, going before a panel on October 11.

During the hearing she was quizzed on her ability to carry out day-to-day activities such as cooking and asked whether she had to have someone with her at all times.

The panel refused her appeal, ruling that there was a lack of evidence for her seizures, adding that they ‘weren’t even once a week’.

They also dismissed her bulimia, stating that she was of average build and showed no signs of wasting.

The judgement also said: “We considered your evidence to be exaggerated and untruthful.”

They said that they accepted that she receives medication for epilepsy and other medical difficulties, but labelled her an ‘unreliable’ witness.

Her mum Roseann Collins, aged 66, said: “It was a degrading experience and it made me so angry to see my daughter go through that, especially after everything she has been through.

“It was heartbreaking to be in there with her. When she was younger they told me there was no point in keeping on phoning an ambulance because they couldn’t do anything for epilepsy and now that’s been used against her.

“My daughter needs someone looking after her every single day. Sometimes she doesn’t care if she lives or dies.”

Pauline is now taking her case to a further appeal with the Upper Tribunal.

She added: “I want to fight this and speak out for all the other epileptics out there.”