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22 Jan 07, 10:36 AM - Marathon man is taking the snickers

Posted by Crippled Monkey

You'll probably have seen this story already, but I, Crippled Monkey, thought it was about time that the Ouch weblog celebrated the undoubted disability anti-hero of 2007 so far. Yes, it's Paul Appleby, 47, from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, the long-distance runner who claimed £22,300 in disability benefits, saying he needed a wheelchair or walking frame to walk, whilst in fact spending most of his time competing in road races and marathons.

Marathons?! Really, you've got to admire the man's brass nerve. In the photo accompanying most of the news reports, there he is indulging in his favourite passion, smiling cheerily at the camera as he completes yet another highly athletic mile. Most fraudulent disability benefit claimants get had up by the law after merely being spotted carrying a flat-pack wardrobe out of their local DIY store. But not Paul Appleby. Oh no. For him, only regular bouts of arduous marathon-running were enough. What a guy!

Oh, and there are some good headlines lurking round the net for this story. A South African news website reports it as Athlete 'a cripple on the sly', which is based on one fellow athlete who commented that "no one had a clue he was pretending to be a cripple on the sly; the bloke was as fit as a flea", whilst The Telegraph opted for the slightly punworthy Benefits cheat could run but he couldn't hide. Run. Run? Geddit?

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At 06:29 PM on 22 Jan 2007, mdmhvonpa wrote:

My, what an audacious fellow!

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At 06:46 AM on 24 Jan 2007, Philip Matson wrote:

Tell me, how on earth did he get away for it for so long? Did he not have regular assessments by a doctor appointed by the DLA to determine his suitability? If so, the doctor surely needs to go on a training course!

I was pretty peeved (wish I could say how (I really felt) about the whole episode. The man is nothing but a common criminal and deserved every thing he gets, it's just a shame that there are probably thousands upon thousands of people doing the same thing as we speak.

They give people with disabilities a bad name, especially the ones with hidden problems, as it leads people to question whether they should be entitled to their benefits.

Is it nasty of me to wish upon this man a minor accident which would confine him to a wheelchair for a year or so enabling him to get a real taste of what being disabled is all about?

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