Mansfield benefits cheat played golf

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A Mansfield woman who played at a golf club in Kirkby was dishonestly claiming disability benefits, a court was told.

Jean Grey-Wilson (75) failed to notify an improvement in her condition - and she was overpaid around £7,000 over a period of two years up to January last year.

She was originally charged with a figure of £36,142 over a longer period but that was not pursued.

Nottingham Crown Court was told on Friday that Grey-Wilson, of The Links, started with a legitimate benefits claim in November 1998.

At a review in 2000 she said she was unable to walk more than 30 to 50 yards in 10 minutes and suffered ‘deep discomfort.’ She also needed help with bathing and dressing.

But information came to light in March 2011 that she had played in a number of golf competitions, said Richard Gibbs, prosecuting.

She was apparently a member at Nottinghamshire (Hollinwell), on Derby Road in Kirkby and Radcliffe-on-Trent golf clubs, said Mr Gibbs.

On 1st December 2011 she played off a handicap of 21.

She was interviewed under caution the following January.

She said breathlessness had stopped her playing but her condition had improved and she used an electric trolley.

She pleaded not guilty in May this year but changed her plea to guilty on a limited basis.

Judge Jonathan Teare told her that no doubt she had been in extremely poor health.

But the judge added: “You were able to play golf and you should have realised you were claiming too much.”

He added that she may have been entitled to a lesser amount if she had reported her change of circumstances.

The sentence was a two months home curfew from 7pm to 7am, as an alternative to imprisonment. She will have to wear an electronic wrist tag.