Wheelchair-bound benefits cheat jailed

Livingston Sheriff Court

Livingston Sheriff Court

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A WHEELCHAIR-bound fraudster who illegally claimed benefits for eight years has been jailed for 16 months.

James Fulton’s scam earned him £50,857.58 in Income Support to which he wasn’t entitled.

Livingston Sheriff Court was told he has been repaying the cash at £70 a month from his invalidity benefit.

But at that rate it would have taken him nearly 60 years to repay the full amount he stole from taxpayers.

Fulton, 55, of Heatherbank, Livingston, pleaded guilty to making false benefit claims from February 2002 until November 2010.

He failed to tell officials at the Department for Work and Pensions that his wife Elizabeth had taken a full-time job as a cleaner with at the Shin-Etsu factory in Livingston.

He didn’t even let benefits chiefs know that she had moved out of the family home to live with her sister while he continued to claim cash for them both as a couple.

He denied a second charge of obtaining just under £17,000 in housing benefit and council tax benefit and the Crown accepted his plea.

Despite what were described as “significant health problems”, Sheriff Douglas Kinloch told Fulton his circumstances were not exceptional enough to avoid being sent to jail.