Manchester

Manchester disability benefits fraudster caught dancing

A 61-year-old man who falsely claimed £30,516 in disability and housing benefits was exposed as a cheat after being filmed teaching a dance class.

Terence Read, of Northwold Road, Blackley, had told the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that he had arthritis and could barely walk.

But he was captured on video, by DWP fraud investigators, teaching jive dancing at Manchester's Printworks.

At Manchester Crown Court he admitted the benefit fraud.

The video showed Read to be an agile jazz dancer, leading a group of students through their steps in a range of styles from Lindy Hop to Charleston.

'Tip-off'

He pleaded guilty to failing to give prompt notification to the authorities of a change in circumstances.

A DWP spokesman said that Read began claiming disability allowance in 1995, but that his health had improved by 2005.

It was estimated that following his recovery he claimed £19,915 in disability benefit and a further £10,600 in housing benefit that he was not entitled to.

Acting on a tip-off, undercover officials put Read under surveillance and compiled a video of his activities.

Read will be sentenced on 4 April at Manchester Crown Court.

After the hearing a DWP spokesman said: "Benefit theft is a crime and in addition to any sentence handed out by the courts, those who plead or who are found guilty will have to pay back any money stolen."