Benefit cheat was filmed playing golf

A Mansfield man who was secretly filmed playing golf while claiming disability benefit has been warned by a judge he is facing a prison term.

Robert Cave (50), of Cotswold Grove, pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court to failing to notify an improvement in his capabilities between April 2006 and January 2010.

The court heard he was overpaid £12,500 in disability living allowance.

In 1996 when he applied for benefit he said walking was extremely painful – he could walk only 10 yards and it took him two minutes, said John Hallissey, prosecuting.

It took him 10-15 minutes to lever himself out of bed.

In 2007 he reported he could not walk more than 50 metres without stopping and found it hard to lift pans from the cooker to the sink. Part of his allowance was to have someone care for him.

A video played in court showed him hitting balls on the driving range and on the third hole at Norwood Park golf course on 18th October, 2009. He had a handicap of 15 and played regularly in competitions, the court was told.

He was also filmed lifting garden fence panels outside his home and carrying flattened boxes to his car.

His barrister Laura Pitman said his ability had improved with the help of painkillers and physiotherapy. But there was medical evidence his kneecaps had crumbled and he had not played golf for the past two years.

Cave appeared at court on crutches and admitted his offence shortly before he was due to go on trial.

He was bailed until sentencing on 7th March. Judge Andrew Hamilton told him: “I should prepare for prison when you come back, that’s what I have in mind.”