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    Blind Paralympic judo star stole £10,000 in disability benefits

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    Jerry Hays

    Posts : 142
    Join date : 2012-12-31

    Blind Paralympic judo star stole £10,000 in disability benefits

    Post by Jerry Hays on Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:33 pm

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    Blind Paralympic judo star stole £10,000 in disability benefits after claiming for taxi rides he never took


    • Simon Jackson was caught fraudulently claiming more than £10,000
    • Money was for taxi rides he did not take to school where he worked
    • DWP inspectors exposed him after they saw his wife driving him to work





    By
    James Rush


    PUBLISHED:

    11:36 EST, 22 January 2013

    |

    UPDATED:

    13:41 EST, 22 January 2013

    A blind Paralympian athlete who has
    won three gold medals issued a tearful apology today after he was caught
    fraudulently claiming £10,000 for taxi rides he didn't make.

    Simon Jackson, 40, an MBE and Britain's most decorated judo star, took the
    money claiming he needed it to pay for cab fares to work.

    But inspectors from the Department of Work and Pensions exposed Jackson
    after they saw his wife Sarah, 29, driving him to a school where he is
    employed as a student learning mentor for Rochdale Council, in Greater
    Manchester.


    Triple gold medal winning Paralympian star Simon
    Jackson, with wife Sarah Jackson (right) and mother Sandra Jackson
    (left), was caught fraudulently claiming £10,000 for taxi rides he
    didn't make







    Jackson, who won gold at three Paralympics
    between 1988 and 1996, admitted benefit fraud after DWP inspectors
    spotted his wife driving him to the school where he worked


    Inquiries revealed there was no
    record of the visually impaired athlete - who won Paralympic gold at
    Seoul '88, Barcelona '92 and Atlanta '96 - using taxis under the
    Government's Access to Work payment during a ten month period.

    Jackson, from Littleborough, near Oldham, who admitted benefit fraud, escaped
    jail after insisting he was 'ashamed' of his conduct and had been
    subjected to abuse following his exposure.

    Representing himself, he told Manchester magistrates he is now fighting to keep his
    job at the school, in Rochdale, and still wants to teach judo to
    children.



    His wife Sarah and mother Sandra, both judo coaches, watched from the public gallery as Jackson
    said: 'Throughout my life I have tried to do everything by the book and I
    shouldn't have done what I did.

    'I get up each morning and enjoy my job and try to make a difference with
    children that I work with. I have had abuse and my mums house has been
    vandalised - even though I don't even live with her.

    'I have not been out that much and feel ashamed of what I have done. I
    don't want one mistake I have made affect the rest of my life.


    Jackson received an MBE for his services to judo
    in 2007 but, following an injury, retired from the sport in 2008 and
    took up indoor tandem cycling

    'I love to have something to
    get up to in the morning. Before this I was a valued member of society.
    After this has finished I want to start to rebuild my life again.'

    Jackson took up judo at the age of seven and, despite his visual impairment,
    soon began to compete on an equal level with sighted children.

    At the age of 15 he competed in his first European Championship in Paris where he won the first of 16 European gold medals.

    His paralympic medal was won at just 16 - and three world championship gold
    medals made him Great Britain's most successful judo player of all
    time.


    Jackson told the court he had been a valued member of society and wanted to rebuild his life

    He received the MBE for his
    services to the sport in 2007 but following an injury, he retired from
    judo in 2008 only to take up indoor tandem cycling and in the 2008
    Paralympic World Cup he won two silver medals.

    Prosecuting Paul Darnborough said the fraud offences occurred between September
    2010 and July 2011 after Jackson claimed access to work support.

    'He is registered blind and he is unable to travel to work,' said Mr
    Darnborough. 'He got this benefit, the access to work payment, which was
    put directly into his building society.




    Jackson told the court he was fighting to keep his job at the school in Rochdale and still wanted to teach judo to children

    'A taxi took him to his place of work and from work and he had to supply these receipts to them.

    'A review took place in February 2011 that suggests that the information
    was not commensurate to that of the claim form and the department
    started an investigation.

    'He was surveyed in July 2011 for a couple of weeks and during that short time Jackson seemed to be driven to work by his wife.

    'Between July 7 and 15 he was seen to be driven on seven occasions. He was
    driven to work by his wife and rendering false receipts from the taxi
    company.'

    Jackson claimed between £15 and £27 for each journey. He initially insisted he
    had been collected every day by the same taxi driver but later confessed
    after he was confronted with the fact there was no record of his
    bookings at the cab firm.

    He took a total of £10,890 but has since paid it back.

    Jackson was ordered to complete a four month community order and abide by a 7pm to 6am curfew.

    The curfew will be relaxed every Tuesday to start at 10pm so he can carry
    on teaching judo to youngsters. He must pay court costs of £250.

    Passing sentence JP Stephen Ingram told Jackson: 'You should be an example to
    your pupils and to all those around you. You are a role model to young
    people.

    'You have let yourself down and you will have this stigma around you for long after what happens in this court room.'

    The government grant is to help disabled people buy specialist equipment,
    travel to work or pay for a communicator at a job interview.

    Find this story at
    www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2266497/Blind-Paralympic-judo-star-Simon-Jackson-stole-10-000-disability-benefits-claiming-taxi-rides-took.html


    Last edited by genetic judoka on Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:36 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : you shoulda seen the formatting before.)
    avatar
    Judo Dad

    Posts : 147
    Join date : 2013-01-01
    Location : Australia

    Re: Blind Paralympic judo star stole £10,000 in disability benefits

    Post by Judo Dad on Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:31 pm

    We all make mistakes. I hope this bloke can get past this lapse in behaviour. Like all things, there is probably a much bigger story to be told Neutral.

    avatar
    Davaro

    Posts : 224
    Join date : 2013-01-04
    Location : South Africa

    Re: Blind Paralympic judo star stole £10,000 in disability benefits

    Post by Davaro on Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:21 pm

    Wow... another Judoka proving we are but human.


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    Re: Blind Paralympic judo star stole £10,000 in disability benefits

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