A 70-year-old man has been sentenced after wrongly claiming almost £20,000 in benefits, assisted by his wife who was herself a benefit fraud investigator.
Paul Stevens told the Department for Work and Pensions that he needed help bathing, dressing, cooking and getting in and out of bed.
Stevens claimed he was in constant pain, needed crutches to get around and could walk only 40 to 60 yards at a time after suffering severe back pain for more than 20 years.
However, DWP investigators saw footage of Stevens on a zip wire in a play park.
He was further filmed pruning a tree with a saw and kneeling as he gardened.
The court heard that his wife Alexandra, 49, a DWP investigator, filled in his forms and helped him “cut corners” allowing him to start claiming Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence to which he was not entitled.
The couple, who had recently inherited £240,000, were convicted of fraud.
They were given suspended sentences at Chelmsford crown court.