Gown cheater had three jobs

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court
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A benefits cheat who said he was so disabled he spent all day in his dressing gown because it was too traumatic to get dressed, was caught out after it emerged he was working three different jobs.

Peter Clark said he was planning to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair, a court heard.

But in fact he was holding down two jobs at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, where he helped run a roller coaster ride.

And the 57-year-old grandfather was also working at an Asda superstore in Blackpool.

When he appeared before magistrates yesterday for defrauding the public purse of £12,000, he was jailed for 56 days.

Presiding magistrate Janet Boccaccio told Clark of Whitegate Drive, Blackpool: “This was a deliberate act of dishonesty to defraud the system.

“It took place over a long period of time and involved a large amount of money.

“It was distasteful that you exaggerated the symptoms of illness to claim the higher rate disability allowance while you were working.

“We want to send a clear message to benefits fraudsters that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”

To get his hands on handouts Clark said he was so disabled he needed help with meals.

He could not lift pans or get food out of an oven.

He admitted making a statement exaggerating the state of his health and four offences of dishonestly failing to notify a change in his circumstances.

Jane Yates, prosecuting, said Clark had said he could hardly walk without falling and needed someone with him seven days a week and required help with washing.

The prosecutor added: “Clark said he often remained in his dressing gown all day as getting dressed was too traumatic.”

Clark was put under surveillance by benefit fraud investigators who found him working at the Pleasure Beach and Asda.

Clark who represented himself said:”I apologise and have been very stupid. The money just became addicitive.

“I don’t even know what I did with the money. I’ve not lived a lavish lifestyle.”

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