Lichfield Benefits Cheat Caught Out By CCTV
6 August 2019, 14:24 | Updated: 6 August 2019, 14:25
A benefits cheat from Lichfield - who received £12,805 after claiming he needed two sticks to walk -was caught after being filmed going down the stairs and moving with ease.
Kevin Eden admitted making a false statement and failing to tell officials his circumstances had changed, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said.
Eden, who made claims for personal independent payments over a 10-year period between 2007 and 2017, claimed he struggled to walk.
However, DWP investigators found he had carried out a "sustained and deliberate deception", uncovering evidence that he mowed the lawn at a members-only rifle club and also took part in shooting competitions.
The 51-year-old was also seen walking in to the Jobcentre in Cannock, Staffordshire, for an interview using two sticks, but was then caught on CCTV leaving via the stairs, using just one of the aids.
Another camera in the centre's foyer then captured Eden walking unaided and carrying his sticks together in his left hand.
As part of his benefits claim, Eden had alleged he suffered discomfort climbing and coming down stairs and after walking more than short distances.
Unemployed Eden, of Leyfields Road, Lichfield, admitted the offences at Cannock Magistrates' Court and was handed a four-week jail term, suspended for 12 months.
He will also have to repay the cash he unlawfully claimed.
After sentencing, a Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) spokesman said: "Benefit fraud is a crime that diverts money from those who really need it, in this case through a deliberate and sustained deception.
"In addition to any sentence imposed by the court, people must pay back all the money they falsely obtained.
"We have zero tolerance of anyone fraudulently claiming benefits and will take swift action to investigate, supporting our partners and prosecutors to bring them to justice - as we did in this case."
Anyone who suspects someone of fraudulently claiming benefits can call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440.