Disability claimant caught out playing cricket

A cricketer who claimed more than £22,000 in disability benefit was handed a four-month suspended jail sentence after being filmed by the Department for Work and Pensions playing for his local club.

Grandfather Stewart Lorains, 53, began claiming benefits for asthma, diabetes and an arthritic condition in 2008, saying he needed help to perform everyday tasks and even struggled to get out of bed.

But when his condition improved in 2009 he failed to tell the DWP, and played cricket for Boosbeck in the Cleveland Cricket League for three years before being found out.

Investigators filmed Lorains keeping wicket, bending over to pick up a ball and smiling in his whites. According to Boosbeck's website, from 2009 to 2012 he scored 614 runs including a high score of 64 not out.

Lorains, of St Cuthberts Walk, Liverton Mines, east Cleveland, pleaded guilty to failing to notify a change of circumstances at a previous hearing. He was handed a four-month jail sentence, suspended for a year, at Teesside Crown Court.