Fraudster built pond while claiming disability benefit

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A BENEFITS cheat was caught out when he was spotted building a garden pond for his fish.

Ian Gilhooley, 43, claimed his disability caused him constant severe back pain and that he needed help with washing, eating and getting dressed.

But Gilhooley, from Tranent, East Lothian, was seen laying decking down in his back garden, building the fish pool and wheeling his motorbike into a transit van before heading off to a race meetings during an investigation into his claims. At Haddington Sheriff Court, the fraudster admitted failing to inform the Department of Work and Pensions of a change in his circumstances and obtaining £14,000 disability living allowance to which he was not entitled between November 8, 2008 and November 8, 2011.

Sheriff Valerie Johnston told Gilhooley his ­“disgraceful” crime deserved a custodial sentence, but sentenced him to 240 hours of community ­service instead.