‘Disabled’ benefits cheat caught playing golf

Haddington Sheriff Court

Haddington Sheriff Court

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A BENEFITS cheat who claimed he could not get about without the aid of crutches was caught out – after he was spotted playing golf.

James Hastie claimed more than £2000 of disability benefit he was not entitled to after telling the Department of Work and Pension (DWP) he could not walk unaided.

But Hastie, of Wallyford, was caught cheating the system after DWP officials watched as he walked about without his crutches and played golf.

Depute fiscal Brent Bissett told Haddington Sheriff Court today that Hastie became a member of a golf club in 2011 and regularly played a round without the use of a buggy.

But defence agent Colm Dempsey said his 27-year-old unemployed client suffers from a “degenerative childhood hip condition” called Perthes Disease, and is currently paying back the cash at £10 per week.

Hastie admitted claiming £2226 to which he was not entitled between September 18, 2012, and April 30 last year.

Sheriff Peter Braid ordered him to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work, adding: “If you are able to play golf you are able to carry out unpaid work.”