Triathlete Anthony Connor admits fraudulent benefits claim

A Manchester man who said he could barely walk, but was filmed competing in a triathlon, has admitted falsely claiming more than £17,000 in benefits.

Anthony Connor, 39, of Wythenshawe, received the money after informing officials he had difficulty walking.

But he was filmed running and cycling in Cheshire in September 2010.

Manchester magistrates sentenced Connor to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for a year, and ordered him to carry out 100 hours of community service.

Officials for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) investigated Connor after he claimed a stroke had left him unable to go up or downstairs or climb in and out of the bath without help.

'Not straggling'

He also told officials he was not capable of walking more than 75m in five minutes.

Connor had originally made a legitimate claim in 2006 after he suffered a stroke but had not informed the DWP of his return to health.

Following a tip-off, investigators filmed Connor cycling and running in the Tatton Park Triathlon on 19 September 2010.

The DWP's Andrew Wood said the film clearly showed Connor had been lying about his health.

"He wasn't straggling behind everyone else, he was in with the pack," he said.

In court, Connor admitted failing to declare a change in circumstances and receiving £17,093.17 in benefit overpayments between June 2010 and July 2011.

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