Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire £100,000 benefit cheat David Millward jailed

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Media captionSurveillance footage showed David Millward carrying 20kg animal feed bags on land he rented in Coven, Staffordshire, the court heard

A livestock trader who falsely claimed £100,000 in disability benefits for problems walking has been jailed, after being secretly filmed working.

David Millward, 55, of Oak Road, Brewood, Staffordshire, moved livestock and carried animal feed bags, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

Millward, who pleaded guilty, has been jailed for 18 months.

He claimed £100,225 in Disability Living Allowance and Income Support between 2003 and 2011.

Surveillance footage recorded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showed him carrying 20kg animal feed bags in Coven, Staffordshire, the court heard.

'Cynical' fraud

Prosecutor Daniel White said Millward walked around a field, hitched a trailer on to his vehicle and loaded cattle on to it.

He added that in order to claim benefits Millward said he had difficulty walking, always had to use a walking stick and would often fall over because his knees were weak.

Image caption Millward said he needed help getting out of bed, the court heard

Millward had said he could only walk 10m before feeling severe discomfort, struggled to climb stairs and needed help getting out of bed, going to the lavatory and getting dressed.

The court heard how he would stand for up to four hours at livestock auctions.

Judge Michael Challinor told Millward, who used a walking stick as he arrived at court, that this had been "a cynical, planned sophisticated" fraud.

The judge said the harm was the loss to the benefits agency of a considerable amount of money.

Kate Thomas, defending, said he had had several knee operations and had "good and bad days".

Speaking outside court, Mark Pickering, from the DWP said: "He was trading, a market trader with cattle and tens of thousands of pounds were changing hands.

"He attended the cattle markets on a number of occasions over many, many years.

"The people that worked with him when he attended the markets were totally unaware of his disability so it was a total surprise to them."

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