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Caught: dancing cheat who said he was too ill to walk

Reporter: KAREN DOHERTY
Date online: 12 July 2010

NIMBLE Terence Read shows off his fancy footwork for the Oldham Chronicle.

But at the time the dapper 1940s fan had been claiming benefits for crippling arthritis which, he said, had left him in a wheelchair.

The 61-year-old from Blackley fraudulently pocketed more than £30,000 in state hand-outs for 3 1/2 years.

But he was caught when investigators for the Department of Work and Pension (DWP) filmed him — in a trilby, dapper suit, spats and bow tie — at a big band and rock n’ roll dance competition in Manchester.

Crowds of onlookers cheered and applauded as he performed the energetic jitterbug, Charleston and lindy hop with his glamorous partner.

And judges gave the five-minute high-kicking and twisting routine glowing reviews.

Read, who DJs at the Friends of the Forties Night at the Lancaster Club, Failsworth, began claiming disability allowance (DLA) in March, 1995, stating he suffered from arthritis and depression.

He was paid at the highest rate based on the fact that he said he was virtually unable to walk and frequently needed help day and night.

But he failed to inform officials that his health had improved. They started checking on his true condition in 2008 after a tip-off.

Read was overpaid £19,915.90 in DLA and £10,600.58 in housing benefit. He originally denied the offence, but changed his plea to guilty at Manchester Crown Court last week.

The court heard that he had paid back £2,185.14 to date and sentencing was adjourned until August 4.

After the case a friend said: “He genuinely believed he had not done anything wrong but it was clear he was caught hook, line and sinker.

“Terry is obviously fast on his feet but was not fleet footed enough to dodge out of being caught.”

Comments

funny the best part was the quote

He genuinely believed he had not done anything wrong

Well claiming DLA for being in a wheel chair while doing the jitterbug on a crowded stage may look a little wrong in most peoples eyes

Every day and in every newspaper there are stories like this one. The media is being drip fed a continual stream of benefits abuse stories by the ConDem coalition which appears to be trying to demonise benefits claimants.
Funny how there aren't the same kind of stories about tax dodgers who account for 15X as much lost revenue than the benefits cheats do.

Don't be taken in by government manipulation.

Give over Flake ! Yes these stories are in the paper regularly and as a working pensioner (cos I have to) I enjoy hearing about these criminals get their just desserts. Don't you? I have to work still when cheats like him dance my tax money away, knowing full well what they are doing, whatever he said.

Morgan look at the funny side of this

reminds me of the my family sitcom where ben gets DLA by mistake so sits in a wheelchair to keep the cash coming in

Morgana, yes there are some stunning benefits cheats like this, who deserve their comeuppance, but there appears so many stories recently that it can only be an orchestrated campaign, and that worries me. Notice that there aren't the stories about the wealthy evading their taxes? I'd enjoy hearing a few stories about those criminals too, but I don't think that's likely under this government!

I believe that all cheats, when caught, should be prosecuted.
But this includes the MP's that paid their family members, to do a job, that they did not do. This is theft, and cheating and is worse than benefit fraud.

How many did you see under the last government Flake? Are you implying that the media is being censored. Heaven forbid ! <g>

Funny side or not, government manipulation or not - fact his he stole 30k of tax payers money. Think of it this way Monday morning cold wet rainy and tired but have to go to work so this man can lie in a warm bed laughing his dapper little shoes off. He knew exactly what he was doing and is playing on the old routine of " oh im old I didn't realise ". I bet he doesn't pay it back but has spent the lot. Sorry for being cynical but it does really annoy.

Flake, you are right - to a point - tax evasion is wrong, but that doesn't make fraudulent benefits claimants right.

Talking of tax evasion, did you read about the Somali familiy moved to a house in Kensington? The house is owned by a company in the Virgin Islands and registered in Lichtenstein. I wonder if the landlord pays tax on their rent of £8,000 a month?

I wonder what his cure is for 'crippling arthritis'? The medical world waits for the answer!

A cheat is a cheat and there can be no excuse for what he has done. He desreves whatever comes his way.

As for those who 'avoid' paying their due taxes, they engage highly paid accountants to make sure they don't pay too much - then there's a certain Lord Ashcroft who says he was domiciled in the UK, when he's not, to obtain a peerage -perhaps he'll pay retrospective taxes - yeh, right!!!

Maybe he was suffering from that devious germ known as ' The Jitter Bug'?

 

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