DCSIMG

Benefits cheat to do unpaid work

Suspended Sentence: Preston Crown Court

Suspended Sentence: Preston Crown Court

An HGV driver who claimed he was too infirm to walk claimed more than £18,000 of disability benefits when he was driving a truck for a living.

Jeffrey Lord, 52, was also awarded a motorbility car after claiming he was too ill to work.

But Lord, of Waddington Road, Ribbleton, has been ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work after it emerged he had been driving a lorry for a living.

Lord pleaded guilty to two counts of making a false representation to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and a charge of failing to notify a change of circumstances. Preston Crown Court heard Lord had first claimed DLA in 1996 on the grounds he had restricted mobility and could not walk without the use of stick.

In 2006 he started working as an HGV driver but did not notify the authorities he was now fit to work. In April 2010 he completed a claim for DLA, and his benefit was allowed to continue, but the following month he underwent and passed a fitness to drive test with his employers.

In 2012 Lord completed another claim for stating he took 10 minutes to walk 50m.

A statement from his employer confirmed he had only taken two days off work in the last two years.

Recorder Graham Lowe, sentencing said: “These are serious offences of dishonesty on the public purse.

“At any time they would be serious but certainly at this time when there is such pressure and for many people misery.”

He handed Lord a three month suspended sentence.

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