'Disabled' TV aerial fitter jailed for £200k benefit fraud

David Williams in a mobility scooter Image copyright Liverpool Echo
Image caption David Williams appeared at court in a mobility scooter, having claimed he could "barely walk"

A man who claimed he could barely walk and had to be fed by his wife, yet worked fitting TV aerials, has been jailed for more than three years.

David Williams, 34, from Wirral, admitted falsely claiming more than £200,000 in benefits.

A Trading Standards investigation also found he charged an elderly woman £7,500 for a £75 fuse box, which he used to buy a new van.

The judge at Liverpool Crown Court said Williams was "callous and cynical".

Williams claimed £83,470 in disability benefits and £116,851 in housing and council tax benefits.

He also falsely claimed his daughters were disabled.

'Sub-standard equipment'

Williams admitted to Department for Work and Pension investigators he had travelled to Southampton as part of his aerial business, even though he previously claimed he could not leave his house.

The Trading Standards investigation also found he had fitted sub-standard equipment and claimed to have been approved by Sky Broadcasting.

In a victim impact statement, the 89-year-old woman who was overcharged for the fuse box and has since died, said: "I don't trust anyone anymore. Stress has exacerbated my health problems."

Williams threatened to have her neighbour arrested for trespass after he tried to help the victim, the court heard.

A spokeswoman from the Department of Work and Pensions said: "It is our duty to ensure benefit payments go to those who really need them and we are committed to cracking down on those who play the system.

"It is unfair some people get support when they do not have a disability, while many people depend on the benefits system to provide a safety net," she added.

Related Internet links

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