Dog walker found guilty of disability benefit fraud

A dog walker has been found guilty of fraudulently claiming thousands of pounds in disability benefits after being secretly filmed throwing a ball for her pets.

Sandra Tipton, 53, alleged that her physical condition, which includes dizziness and a ‘frozen shoulder’ had not improved since she first claimed the benefit in 2013.

The jury at Exeter Crown Court were shown footage of Tipton walking her dogs and throwing a ball. The video was taken covertly by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Tipton denied being dishonest or that her condition had improved at all.

She maintained that she was not a well woman and suffered from vertigo, had difficulty with spacial awareness and her peripheral vision, felt more able at some parts of the day than others, and was embarrassed about always using her mobility scooter.

The DWP said Tipton had not told them her physical condition had improved after 2014 because she wanted to keep receiving the benefits.

The jury returned a guilty verdict to the single count of failing to notify a change of circumstance.