Devon

Blind man faces benefits investigation after darts success

Robert Boon
Image caption Robert Boon said a "malicious" person had contacted the DWP after the charity darts event

A blind man who threw a 180 during a charity darts marathon has been investigated for benefit fraud after someone complained he was "too good".

Robert Boon, 50, was involved in the 10-hour event to raise money to train guide dog puppies.

Mr Boon, from Paignton, Devon, said he received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) questioning his eligibility to claim benefits.

He said a "malicious" person made the complaint.

Mr Boon said he had hit a maximum 180 with three darts, but the probability of doing so was "very high" during a 10-hour event.

'Absolutely fuming'

He said the repetitive action of dart throwing enabled him to maintain some degree of accuracy.

"I played darts when I was younger and even if I was blindfolded I could still hit the board," he said.

"I've been victimised. I'm absolutely fuming."

Mr Boon was born with defective eyesight and in recent years his ability to see has rapidly declined and he is now registered as blind.

He said anyone could see his medical records if they doubted he was visually-impaired.

The fundraiser, at a coffee shop in the town, had been staged to collect donations towards training two guide dog puppies.

"I know what it's like to have a guide dog, it's incredibly important," he said.

Mr Boon said the DWP had since told him it does not intend to cut his benefits.

A department spokesman said: "It's only right that we investigate a person's benefit claim when we receive information that suggests they may not be entitled."

Mr Boon, who notched up about 61,000 points, held the charity event after being inspired by a group of blind darts players in Cornwall.

The fundraising project was part of a wider scheme to raise £10,000 to pay for the guide dogs.

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