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3 Feb 2015

Jail for disability benefit fraudster

A benefits cheat claimed he was so disabled he could not work - but in fact he was working as a security guard, patrolling large sites with his rottweiler dogs. (h/t Dave)

Dayle Leatherland falsely claimed £34,000 from the taxpayer by pretending he could walk no more than 10 yards with the aid of a stick, and needed help getting in and out of bed or up and down stairs.

However, investigators discovered that he played an active role running his own guard dog company, and he was spotted patrolling sites on foot with enormous rottweilers.

Leatherland, 51, was paid a total of £33,924 in incapacity benefit, disability living allowance and income support which he was not entitled to.

He was jailed for six months at Wolverhampton Crown Court after pleading guilty to six charges of benefit fraud.

The court heard Leatherland filled in self-assessment forms claiming he was so severely disabled he couldn't tie his own shoe laces.

His six-year scam was exposed in May 2013, after it was discovered he ran a business called D. Leatherland Dog Handling Services from his home in Tipton, West Midlands. DWP investigators also found details that he had been employed by companies to guard sites and patrol with his dog at locations up to 60 miles from his home.

Prosecutor Mark Jackson said: 'He claimed the consequences of numerous physical problems were that he could only walk a few steps very slowly before feeling severe discomfort. He said his ankle would give way causing him to stumble. The picture he presented was one of acute physical difficulty and he was categorised as being virtually unable to walk. This was completely incompatible with the reality of him running his own business as a security guard specialising in dog handling. If officials had known the true situation he would not have had any benefit at all.'

Adrian Stephens, defending, said he had built up debts of £56,000 while installing a conservatory and adding an extension to his home. Operations are still being carried out to correct deformities. He then got work he felt he could do and he either misunderstood the situation or turned a blind eye. He was focused on these very severe debts and this was a way of paying some of them. There was no lavish lifestyle, luxury holidays or fast cars. He did what he did to clear his debts, he made the wrong choices.'

Sentencing him to prison, judge John Warner said: 'You painted a totally false picture of yourself to the authorities. These were quite cynical claims you made claiming you were unfit to work. Lots of people from all sorts of walks of life have financial difficulties and do not turn to dishonesty to sort out these problems.'

Source

The scam was exposed in May 2013 but the court sentence did not come until January 2015.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who tied his shoe laces then?

I cant walk, can I have DLA? Erm, OK.

Did he ever get a sick note or a doctors report?

Is it that easy?!?