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Benefits Cheat To Be Sentenced

Monday March 30 2015




A SUNDAY league footballer who claimed he was 'severely disabled' is set to be sentenced - after he wrongly claimed £15,000 in benefits.

Raymond Billham racked up almost 100 appearances during a five-year period for his local pub's football team.

He was a box-to-box midfielder who, during the 90 minutes of a match, would run several miles, winning many crunching tackles, even scoring the odd goal.

But according to his claim for incapacity benefits, the 38-year-old was severely disabled, virtually unable to walk more than a few metres unaided.

He claimed he needed crutches and other aids to get about because of problems with his knees and back.

Unknown to him though, fraud investigators covertly filmed his football performances following an anonymous tip-off.

Billam, of Primrose Close, Bolton-on-Dearne, appeared in court where it was claimed he had pocketed £15,000 in benefits to which he was not entitled as a result of his fraudulent behaviour.

District Judge John Foster warned Billam he could be facing extra time - in prison.

He said: "The nature of the deception and the amount of money falsely claimed means I do not rule out jail or sending you to Sheffield Crown Court for a stiffer sentence than can be imposed here."

He will be sentenced on April 9 and was granted unconditional bail.

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