Benefits cheat who ‘couldn’t walk’ is caught dancing in zumba class after claiming £30,000 in disability support

November 21, 2014 admin No comments

NB Look for the woman in the red trousers


A woman claimed over £30,000 in benefits for her severe disability before she was revealed to be a fraud – after she was spotted dancing at a zumba class.

Mary Thirsk, 44, told authorities that she could hardly walk and had been paid thousands of pounds worth of benefits as a result.

But undercover investigators looking into her case found that not only could she walk – she could leap around at a zumba class.

Investigators also observed Thirsk carrying bales of hay and riding horses.while claiming she had a debilitating disability.

Picture shows benefits cheat Mary Thirsk who claimed over #30,000 in disability saying she could hardly walk was filmed by undercover investigators dancing at a ZUMBA CLASS. See ROss Parry copy RPYBENEFITS : Mary Thirsk, 44, who said she needed help preparing meals, was also spotted carrying bales of hay and riding horses by investigators from the Department for Work and Pensions.  One of the investigators, who filmed her at a zumba class, told Blackpool Magistrates Court: "She was dancing on one leg, waving her arms around for about 40 minutesî.  The offences covered a period between July 2010 and May last year and involved her being overpaid by 00. David Bengley, prosecuting, told the court Thirsk had started to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) on the basis that she was ìvirtuallly unable to walk and needed help to prepare a mealî.  Roy Paul, DWP North West Fraud Manager said: "It is our duty to ensure that benefit payments go to those who really need them and we are committed to cracking down on those who play the system.  "Our welfare reforms are vital to close the gaps that cheats take advantage of.

Convicted benefits cheat Mary Thirsk, 44 (Picture: Ross Parry/Facebook)

Thirsk claimed over £30,000 before she was found out by the Department of Work and Pensions.

An investigator, who filmed the benefits cheat, told Blackpool Magistrates Court: ‘She was dancing on one leg, waving her arms around for about 40 minutes.’

Thirsk admitted to five offences of failing to notify a change in her circumstances and was given a 14-week suspended prison sentence and 12 months supervision.

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