A BENEFITS cheat who claimed he could only walk a few yards unaided was filmed moving house after returning from a holiday abroad, a court heard.
Tracy Holdstock- Roberts, claimed he had severe mobility difficulties and was found to have received £4,517 in overpayments from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) between August, 2012 and May, 2013.
Rob Youds, prosecuting, told West Cheshire Magistrates in Chester the Department of Work and Pensions conducted an investigation and that Holdstock-Roberts claimed he needed help with his care and could only walk between 10-50 yards unaided.
Mr Youds said that DWP surveillance had shown Holdstock-Roberts getting in and out of taxis and how the evidence had shown Holdstock-Roberts’ mobility had improved.
Stephen Coupe, defending, said Holdstock-Roberts, of Christleton Road, Boughton, accepted he did not inform the DWP about improvements to his mobility.
Mr Coupe said: “Holdstock-Roberts accepts he should have made note of improvements to his mobility, but this is not a case where the claim has been fraudulent from the outset. Holdstock-Roberts has had difficulties. In 2010 he had significant difficulties, especially around alcohol. He also weighed more than 17 stone, and due to the loss of both of his parents and the breakdown of his marriage he is now down to over 10 stone. He had a breakdown. This is not a case in which Holdstock-Roberts has lived a lavish lifestyle, he has friends abroad whom he has stayed with when he has difficulties.”
The court heard Holdstock-Roberts had started to pay back the money to the Department of Work and Pensions.
Magistrates gave Holdstock-Roberts a two year conditional discharge, and ordered him to pay £85 costs, and a £15 victim surcharge.
See full story in the Chester Leader