Cumbria

Leigh Neilly told to repay £37,000 false benefit claim

A benefits cheat has been ordered to pay back the £36,825 he falsely claimed or go to prison for 14 months.

Leigh Neilly, 41, from Silloth, Cumbria, served a 30-weeks jail term after playing golf when he had told authorities he was too ill to walk.

At a Proceeds of Crime hearing at Carlisle Crown Court, the father-of-two was told he has three months to repay the money.

He claimed the disability benefits between April 2002 and July 2010.

Neilly will have to take out a mortgage on a £146,000 house in Wampool Street, Silloth, which he and his wife currently own outright.

He began claiming benefits when he was diagnosed with a muscle-wasting disease but was spotted by officials regularly playing at Silloth golf club, the court heard.

He was found guilty of failing to tell the Department for Work and Pensions that his health had improved enough to affect his claim for Disability Living Allowance and was jailed in May.

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