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pounds 50K DOLE CHEAT A DSS CLEANER; 'Disabled' Law in marching band.

Byline: SUE CASTLE

CHEAT Barry Law swindled pounds 50,000 in benefits - while working at a JobCentre.

Law, who claimed he couldn't get out of bed without help because he was so disabled, raced from work to practise with a marching band.

The 50-year-old claimed incapacity benefit, yet staff saw him skipping up stairs carrying a vacuum.

He even volunteered to shift furniture while working as a cleaner at Swansea's Morriston JobCentre.

Yesterday Law admitted three charges of false accounting and five of deception.

He asked for a further 334 similar offences, involving pounds 49,510, to be taken into consideration.

Miss Nicola Harris, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court Law claimed incapacity benefit and disabled living allowances over seven years.

"He said he needed help to get out of bed, get dressed, go to the toilet or walk," she told the court.

"Each time he cashed a benefit payment he signed to confirm he had not been working." She said JobCentre staff never saw Law with a stick and never saw him stumble.

Law often hurried to finish his day's work so he could get to marching band practice, she added.

David Harris, defending, said Law had retired from ambulance driving on the grounds of ill health in 1987.

His doctor had advised him to stay active.

"He is a broken man," said Mr Harris.

Law, who hobbled into the dock using a walking stick, offered to repay the money at pounds 10-a-month. That would have taken 100 years.

\Jailing Law to 18 months, Judge Michael Burr told him: "Here we have a man who, according to the records, cannot function without assistance, can't even go to the toilet on his own."

He told Law: "You presented yourself at various times as a man wholly unable to function unaided. And yet during the whole of that time you were working, capable of going up and down stairs with equipment, without betraying the slightest indication that you were handicapped."

CAPTION(S):

LIAR: Conman Barry Law
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 20, 2002
Words:334
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