Barrow man feigned limp to keep disability benefit claim
Last updated at 09:33, Tuesday, 14 January 2014
A BARROW benefits cheat feigned a limp to receive disability allowance – but was caught out walking around town and riding a motorbike.
Frank Bircher, 61, pleaded guilty to failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions that he was physically much more able than he had been when he initially claimed.
Appearing at Furness Magistrates Court on Tuesday, Bircher admitted his mobility had improved, and that he was unlawfully claiming his benefits between June, 2012, and March, 2013.
Bircher, of Jarrow Street, initially began claiming benefits in 2002 due to physical problems that caused him serious mobility problems.
It was taken into account that Bircher’s claims had, at first, and for a number of years, been accurate.
He had, however, failed to notify the Department for Work and Pensions when these conditions changed and his mobility improved.
Bircher was observed walking at a “moderate to fast” speed on CCTV.
He was also spotted riding around on a motorbike, something he admits would have proven difficult in his earlier condition.
It was revealed that Bircher walks to a number of locations from his address, and spends time going out socially.
When walking to the benefits centre, Bircher would drop the usual “moderate to fast” pace he would use to walk around town, instead adopting a much slower speed and a limp.
Mr Trystan Roberts, defending, admitted that he should have informed the Department for Work and Pensions on the changes to his circumstances.
Mr Roberts also told the court that Bircher does not work and is living with his partner.
Bircher was fined £85. He was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20. He was also ordered to pay legal fees amounting to £85.
First published at 15:56, Monday, 13 January 2014
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Incensed is wrong, its not a FREE disabled car, its paid for by tax payers who often haven't got a car themselves!!
This guy thought he was on to an earner by not declaring his condition had improved, which is detrimental to all the genuine claimants out there. It is people like him that has caused the downfall of the benefit system. Roll on the day when the Government has to stop it all together, and people have to work for an income, and only the really needy get care. I have worked with people in the past who have been depressed,stressed, got bad backs, MS and cancer, and all were working through these conditions, instead of going on benefits, regardless of "being entitled" to them or not. Its called being responsible for your own life and not being a victim of a nurse made society, which wont exist much longer.
Millions more like that out there claiming dis-ben. Use our taxes to catch them instead of funding the lazy B*** get them out working. Not saying all disabled people - there are many who deserve to claim. Its the able bodied ones that spoil it for the genuine ones. If the pull up at a supermarket in their FREE disabled car and walk round the supermarket unaided for half an hour and reach up and bend down for heavy items - chances are they don't need that disability car or the wad of benefits they get too.
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