Greg Phillips, aged 51, on trial accused of £28,000 disability benefit fraud
A man who claimed he could hardly walk worked as a delivery driver for Domino’s Pizza while pocketing more than £28,000 in disability benefits, a jury was told.
Greg Phillips, aged 51, worked several physical jobs for five years without telling the authorities his health had improved, a court heard.
Phillips was at the time claiming Disability Living Allowance after assessors had deemed him “virtually unable to walk” based on a form he had filled in.
He had told the Department for Work and Pensions that he was often housebound with a bad back and struggled with basic daily tasks such as cooking, Plymouth Crown Court heard.
But prosecutors say that he worked as an office manager and delivery driver for Domino’s Pizza in Plympton for a year, with hardly a day off.
He also worked as a registered nurse in several city care homes, the jury was told.
Phillips, of Orchard Close, Plympton, has gone on trial after denying dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances affecting his claim for Disability Living Allowance between January 2012 and January 2017.
He allegedly did not promptly tell the department that his health had improved and was overpaid in total £28,469.
Jason Beal, opening the case for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the DWP accepted that Phillips had lumbar spondylosis, a “bad back”.
He added that the department depended on claimants accurately filling in forms about the ways their disabilities affected their daily lives.
Mr Beal said Phillips filled in his claim form in 2010 and on that basis was awarded DLA at the higher rate for his mobility needs and at the medium rate for his care needs.
Just under £100 a week was transferred into his bank account after an official concluded he was “virtually unable to walk”
Mr Beal said that in the form Phillips said he said that he could walk only 100 yards or for five minutes before feeling “severe discomfort”.
He added: “This describes me on a good day, on a bad day I am housebound. There are more bad days than good days.”
Mr Beal said Phillips reported that he would fall over repeatedly.
The barrister said the defendant said he would be at risk of injury if he had to prepare a hot main meal for himself.
Mr Phillips said on the form: “I can’t lift pans or get things out of cupboards”.
Mr Beal said that Phillips was sent annual reminders that he had to tell the department if his mobility improved.
He added the defendant worked as a delivery driver and a shift manager at Domino’s Pizza in Plympton from January to December 2012.
Mr Beal said that the defendant told his colleagues about his bad back but in fact only had four days off sick during the year.
The barrister added that the area manager described him as “hard working”.
Mr Beal said: “The job involved delivering to different types of addresses, including houses and flats on multiple stories. He would need to hold pizzas, sometimes more than one at a time, horizontally so that the toppings did not slide off.”
He added that Phillips went on to work at two city care homes, helping patients with dementia.
Mr Beal said that he also worked for a company visiting clients with care needs in their own homes.