Preston and Blackpool benefit cheat fracking protester claimed she could 'barely stand up'
A fracking protester who claimed thousands of pounds in disability benefits while taking part in strenuous protests has been given a 23 week jail sentence, suspended for two years.
Catherine Jackson, 51, was photographed shackled to equipment at the fracking site in Little Plumpton, and had to be released when police used angle grinders.
She had claimed she could barely stand up and slept most of the day because of the pain she was in and the medication she had to take.
In her claim for Personal Independence Payments, she said she had arthritis and couldn’t hold anything or cook for herself due to extreme pain in her shoulder.
She said she also suffered from anxiety and depression and couldn’t leave her home without suffering a panic attack.
She admits dishonestly claiming £5,392 of Personal Independence Payments from June 2017 to May 2018 by failing to notify a change in circumstances.
Blackpool magistrates’ imposed a suspended term and a curfew.
Justine McVitie, of the Crown Prosecution Service Fraud Unit, said: “Ms Jackson had claimed that she suffered from a variety of mental and physical ailments that meant she rarely left the house and slept most of the day.
“She said she had to be woken for meals by her daughter and was in constant pain. Yet she was seen taking part in physically demanding protests at the Little Plumpton site that would be challenging for most people.
“There are a lot of demands on the public purse and a lot of people who genuinely need the support of the state to live.