A BENEFITS cheat who claimed almost £45,000 in handouts while claiming she could barely walk has been jailed for 18 months after being filmed playing bowls.
‘Compulsive liar’ Rebecca Peach, 49, was in much better health than she claimed when she was secretly videoed by officers from the Department for Work and Pensions.
Footage showed her running round the green, bending down to bowl and bounding up and down the clubhouse steps. She was also filmed punching the air to celebrate and sprinting across the green with a tape measure at the Amery Unionist Bowling Club in Willenhall, West Midlands.
Peach admitted fraud when she appeared at Wolverhampton crown court on Friday. She collapsed in the dock after Richard Davenport, prosecuting, accused her of being ‘a lying fraudster’ and had to treated by paramedics before she was sentenced.
The court heard that Peach, of Willenhall, had claimed she was in severe pain and needed two crutches to walk. She told officials she never went out alone, needed help to cook and dress herself, and had pain in her legs, knees and back.
But the court heard she played bowls up to four times a week and represented teams in several local leagues in Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire.
Judge Barry Berlin told her the video showed she was ‘not in any sense immobile’. He added: ‘You attained a large sum of money in an utterly cynical fraud.’
Peach now faces having to sell the family home to repay £44,866 she fraudulently claimed.