A LAWYER who pocketed £60,000 in disability benefits by claiming he was barely able to walk was caught out when he celebrated winning a case, a trial was told.
Alan Blacker, 47, who said he was only able to move with ‘much intrepidity, pain and fear of falling’, was filmed by investigators ‘moving with ease’, it was alleged.
The solicitor advocate — who also goes by the name Lord Harley — had claimed disability living allowance between September 1997 and October 2015, Minshull Street crown court, Manchester, was told.
Part of the claim was for high rate mobility payments — usually for people who have no legs or feet.
In one claim form, he said: ‘My whole life centres around avoiding pain. I am not able to keep my focus on any other thing. Some days I lay in bed all day and cannot motivate myself to get up.’
Yet Blacker, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, helped build a model railway and took part in first-aid training — which required physical action, the jury heard. Chloe Fordham, prosecuting, said: ‘The defendant said he needed someone for “physical support” for getting to the bathroom and could walk no more than 20 yards.
‘He also said he had problems cutting up food and eating and drinking.
‘Yet he was seen walking up and down stairs and getting into and out of vehicles without difficulty. He was seen to use a stick but there was nobody helping him stand or walk.’ Officials from the Department of Work and Pensions arrested Blacker after they filmed him during a trial at Cardiff crown court in 2014.
Afterwards he was shown footage where he was seen moving about with ease. Ms Fordham said: ‘He told them he had won a case and he became particularly elated.’ Blacker denies benefit fraud. The trial continues.