VIDEO: Disability cheat caught playing football
CHEATING football boss John Alexander was caught on camera running around a pitch when he was claiming disability benefit because he said he could hardly walk.
A court heard that investigators filmed the FC Manadon manager jogging, kicking and retrieving loose balls and gesticulating from the side of a pitch.
Footage shows Alexander running a short distance, nimbly turning and passing the ball. But at the same time the 68-year-old was pocketing nearly £7,000 in disability benefits, Plymouth magistrates were told.
Alexander, of Vauxhall Street, the Barbican, admitted dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances affecting his entitlement to benefit between August 2010 and November 2011.
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Claire Tresidder, for the Department for Work and Pensions, said Alexander claimed benefit as a single man.
She said he declared that he was "virtually unable to walk" in his application for Disability Living Allowance.
Mrs Tresidder added: "The department established that he had been involved in football in a management capacity. Footage was obtained showing him basically involved in games and being mobile at the time."
A department spokesman said after the case he was manager at Plymouth and West Devon Combination League team FC Manadon.
Mrs Tresidder told the court that he should have declared that he was more mobile and investigators believed that his benefit would have been stopped. The total amount overpaid was £6,737.80.
Mrs Tresidder said he was repaying the money to the department out of his continuing benefits.
David Teague, for Alexander, said he had suffered injuries, including a broken back, in a car accident, a fishing accident and had also fallen down the stairs.
He added the claim was legitimate when it started.
But Mr Teague said: "He is a proud and determined man and wanted to remain as able-bodied as he could. He wanted to remain in contact with the outside world."
He added he took medication and fought the pain to manage the club, but accepted he should have told the department.
Mr Teague said: "It is apparent he has the symptoms of depression to some extent."
Magistrates gave him a three-month curfew with an electronic tag. He must remain indoors from 9pm until 6am every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday until the end of the year. Alexander must also pay costs of £50.