George Beacham, 68, started raking in £45,000 in Disability Living Allowance
He claimed he needed a walking stick and a carer while outside in case he fell
The DWP found him working as a binman for Lancaster City Council for a decade
Beacham was handed a 54-week suspended sentence at Preston Crown Court
A benefit fraudster who claimed he ‘could only walk two yards in 15 minutes’ was rumbled after being pictured lugging heavy items around while secretly working as a binman.
George Beacham, 68, started raking in £45,000 in Disability Living Allowance, claiming he needed help getting out of bed and had no control of his bowel movements.
Preston Crown Court heard he also claimed he needed a walking stick outside and someone with him at all times in case he fell.
But after a tip-off the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) found he had in fact been working for Lancaster City Council as a binman from 2006.
Damning covert footage by suspicious DWP investigators showed him walking unaided, lifting, hauling and emptying heavy binbags
Damning covert footage by suspicious DWP investigators showed him walking unaided, lifting, hauling and emptying heavy binbags.
A judge heard from 2002 to 2006 greedy Beacham, of Morecambe Bay, Lancashire, had also been working as a council street warden.
He admitted failing to promptly notify the DWP of a change of circumstances which would affect his benefit claim.
Judge Stephen Bedford ordered him to pay £300 costs and a £140 surcharge and gave him a 54-week suspended sentence.
A DWP spokesperson said: ‘Only a small minority of people try to cheat the benefits system.
‘But cases like this show how we are rooting out those who are stealing taxpayers’ money and diverting it away from the people who really need it.’
The court was told how gaining employment did not necessarily stop someone from claiming DLA benefit.
But if the work shows the claim is a lie, the person has failed to notify an improvement to the authorities.
Prosecutor Richard Bennett said Beacham was overpaid £45,441.45 and has since paid back £35,000 by cheque.
He is continuing to pay back the remaining £9,000 in instalments.
He said: ‘The defendant had been in receipt of DLA from June 1993 to September 2015 when it was suspended.
‘It’s a benefit that helps with extra costs one may face if one is disabled and to apply he had to complete a form.
‘On the strength of that he was deemed eligible.’
Video surveillance in July 2015 has shown the method and way he carried out his duties is clearly at odds with how he described his disability on his form.
In interview, Beacham admitted he ‘made a mistake’ when claiming he could only walk two yards in 15 minutes.
He wore headphones throughout the proceedings and was given a special chair in the dock.