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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Cumbrian benefits cheat has sentence delayed

A benefits cheat caught on camera playing golf after he told officials he was too ill to walk more than 100 yards without discomfort will be sentenced next month.

Leigh Neilly photo
Leigh Neilly

Related: Cumbrian benefit cheat caught on film is facing prison

Leigh Neilly, 41, had been due to be sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday.

But judge Barbara Forrester adjourned the case after defence barrister Elizabeth Muir said lawyers needed to trace important background reports on the defendant to prepare for the hearing.

Neilly, of Wampool Street, Silloth, who pocketed nearly £39,000 in disability benefits, was convicted of failing to tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that his health had improved enough to affect his claim.

He denied the offence and a second more serious allegation that his claim for Disability Living Allowance was fraudulent from the outset.

The jury cleared him of that offence but convicted him of failing to report the improvement in his health which affected his claim.

Judge Barbara Forrester remanded the defendant in custody after reminding the court that she had earlier said an immediate jail term for the offence was “inescapable.”

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