Nine-Month Jail Term for Director over Pounds 47,000 Benefit Scam
Byline: By Anthony Stone Western Mail
A COMPANY director was jailed for nine months yesterday after illegally pocketing almost pounds 47,000 in benefits by claiming he was too ill even to stand up.
Garry Lewis, 52, of Pat Chown Court, Pontardawe, headed a successful business delivering transplant organs.
As a director of Medicall, Lewis took transplant organs to hospitals around the UK in a refrigerated van as the firms main driver.
But at the same time he was claiming high-level disability allowance for a condition he described as so chronic he could not even turn on a tap, Swansea Crown Court heard.
Carl Harrison, prosecuting, said that Lewis had filled out a claims form outlining his condition in 1996. He claimed he was unable to get up from a sitting position without holding on to something.
He said, He could not bend his knees and could not walk more than a few steps without feeling severe discomfort.
Mr Harrison said that Lewiss claim added, During a bad week I find it difficult to stand up at all.
Lewis claimed he could not turn on a tap or a cooker knob and was incapable even of raising his arm to the top pocket of a jacket. He claimed his condition was so debilitating that his hands would become swollen even from carrying half a carton of milk.
At the time he was running his own business, Medicall, transporting organs to hospitals throughout the UK, Mr Harrison said. The purpose of the company, in effect, was to provide round-the-clock transport for organs.
The defendant was a director of the company and in addition to transporting organs, from time to time the company would transport staff from hospital to hospital.
He said the estimated income from the contract since 1998 was pounds 21,000-a-year. …