Benefit cheat was filmed jazz dancing

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The Independent Online

A benefit cheat who swindled £20,000 in disability benefit was caught after wowing crowds with his jazz dancing.

Terence Read claimed to be crippled by arthritis and barely able to walk.

But the 61-year-old from Northwold Drive, Manchester, was part of a dance group and regularly took part in competitions and exhibitions in the city centre.

Investigators from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) tracked Read down to take video footage of him in action.

He was caught gliding across the dance floor spinning his dance partner around, decked out in a three-piece suit, spats and bow-tie while being cheered on by crowds of onlookers during one competition in Manchester.

Read claimed disability living allowance (DLA) from March 1995 and was paid at the highest rate of mobility and the highest rate of care components.

This was based on the fact that he had said on his claim forms that he was unable or virtually unable to walk and that he required assistance with his personal care needs both day and night.

Read pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court yesterday to failing to promptly notify the authorities of a change in circumstances.

He cheated taxpayers out of a total of £19,915.90p in DLA and a further £10,600.58p in housing benefit.

He will be sentenced next month.

A spokesman for the DWP said: "Benefit theft is a crime. In addition to the sentence imposed by the court, the department will always seek full reimbursement of all monies stolen by a benefit fraudster, to ensure that they do not benefit financially from their criminal activity.

"Anyone who suspects someone is committing benefit theft can call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440.