A benefit cheat who claimed disability living allowance while working as a delivery driver has been given a suspended prison sentence.
John Carter, 57, started receiving the benefit in October 2007 on the grounds that he was virtually unable to walk and needed assistance with his daily needs.
But by April the following year he was working six days a week for a Halifax delivery firm handling packages weighing up to 15-and-a-half kilogrammes during three-hour shifts.
Carter, of Newlands Avenue, Sowerby Bridge, was initially questioned about his work in December 2009, but he denied being employed for the previous 20-month and earning £15,000.
Further investigation by the Department of Work and Pensions led to Carter being questioned again in October the following year and he finally admitted the offending.
Prosecutor Giles Bridge told Bradford Crown Court this morning that Carter had been overpaid just over £13,000 in disability living allowance and an additional £17,000 in income support.
Carter admitted charges of failing to notify the department of a change in his circumstances and Judge Peter Benson said he should be ashamed of his actions.
The court heard that Carter had already paid back £4000 to the DWP and he now faced a further confiscation hearing to recover the rest of the taxpayers’ money.
He may have to sell his home in order pay back the cash.
Lawyer Chris Haddock, for Carter, said he was deeply ashamed and disappointed with himself for behaving in this way.
Judge Benson said Carter had deliberately defrauded the public and the taxpayer by taking money that he was not entitled to.
“I’m told you are ashamed and you should be,” the judge told the defendant.
But the judge said he was prepared to suspend Carter’s eight-month jail term for two years and ordered him to do 200 hours unpaid work for the community.
The Proceeds of Crime hearing is due to take place in July and Judge Benson said he hoped the public would get back the money stolen from them.