Birmingham & Black Country

Wolverhampton benefits cheat caught using gym avoids jail

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBenefits cheat caught working out at the gym

A man caught exercising in a gym while wrongly claiming disability benefits has been ordered to pay back nearly £20,000.

Paramjit Randhawa, of Honor Avenue in Wolverhampton, was filmed by undercover inspectors from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in July 2013.

The 72-year-old was granted benefits in 1995, but failed to inform the DWP after his health improved in 2011.

At Wolverhampton Crown Court, he got an eight-month suspended jail term.

The video, recorded at Wolverhampton Swimming and Fitness Centre in Wednesfield, shows the defendant walking on a treadmill and lifting weights.

Judge John Wait ordered Randhawa - who has stepped down as a treasurer of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Wolverhampton as a result of the case - to pay back £19,782.

"You have lost your good character because you are a dishonest man," he told the defendant.

Randhawa's lawyer said his client "bitterly regrets" what he did and feels "ashamed".

A spokesman for DWP said the footage showed how investigators are "rooting out the unscrupulous minority" exploiting the system.

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites