Secret filming snares woman who could ‘barely walk’

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court

A benefits cheat who claimed she could barely walk was captured on camera taking jaunts to Manchester.

Christine Such was also secretly filmed walking her dog, emptying rubbish, carrying step-ladders and putting out washing.

Such illegally claimed almost £14,000 over nearly three years until benefits fraud investigators put an end to her deception.

The 59-year-old widow, of Grasmere Road, Knott End, pleaded guilty to failing to notify a change in circumstances – that there had been an improvement in her physical capabilities and her care needs.

She was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £15 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said from November 2010 to June last year Such illegally claimed £13,855 in Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate. She claimed to suffer severe back leg and chest pains when walking and could only manage 50 yards before suffering severe discomfort. Such said she needed help from others seven days a week to help her get in and out of bed, dressing, washing, going to the toilet and with her personal appearance, making meals, getting to a standing position and walking.

But benefit fraud investigators kept her under surveillance from March 26 to May 17 and secretly filmed her. She was seen walking at above normal speed, taking trains and buses to Manchester, and walking her dog. She was also filmed frequently using the large step needed to get into her address.

Such had said every day was a bad day physically for her, but when questioned she said she had bad days and good days and on good days could do more.

David Charnley, defending, said his client, who had no previous convictions, said there was a slight improvement in mobility on good days. She was now seriously ill with cancer and the defence produced medical reports from her doctor for the magistrates.