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Benefits cheat 'funded exotic jet set lifestyle' - Yorkshire Hub

Benefits cheat ‘funded exotic jet set lifestyle’

A £70,000 benefits cheat who said he couldn’t walk was secretly filmed pulling two suitcases through an airport before jetting away on a luxury holiday to Australia with his wife

Kevin McEntee

Kevin McEntee

Kevin McEntee, 64, enjoyed a lavish lifestyle – including 19 foreign cruises with his former wife Pauline – while claiming that they were both significantly disabled.

His fraudulent claims for Disability Living Allowance for himself and wife totalled £68,924.45.

McEntee, from Merseyside, was also part of a cycle club, riding twice a week.

He was filmed in 2013 at Manchester Airport “moving without apparent difficulty” and walking for half a mile.

He was jailed for two years after Liverpool Crown Court heard that he had “grossly exaggerated the extent of his difficulties”.

He had enjoyed as many as three holidays a year around the Mediterranean, Brazil and the Caribbean.

The court heard that some of the trips were taken in the weeks before or after a claim was made.

Kevin McEntee on holiday

Kevin McEntee on holiday

He was found guilty of five offences of benefit fraud after trial.

You did so for the simple and dishonest purpose of taking advantage of a benefit to which you knew full well that neither you or your wife was entitled. Anyone looking at the forms would have assumed that they were dealing with a couple who were very seriously disabled.”

– JUDGE ANDREW MENARY QC

Unemployed McEntee had been involved in an industrial injury in 1996.

In 2000, he claimed that following a heart attack he needed a walking stick, regularly fell and was not able to walk 25 metres.

He said he that needed help bathing, getting out of bed and help cutting up his food.

He was rewarded Disability Living Allowance and had a blue disabled badge for his car.

It was not disputed that McEntee had suffered medical complaints including osteoarthritis, cervical spondylosis and depression – but the extent to how it affected his daily activities were “deliberately exaggerated”.

Only a small minority of benefit claimants are dishonest, but cases like this show how we are rooting out the unscrupulous minority who are cheating the system and diverting taxpayers’ money from those who really need it. We are determined to find those we suspect of abusing the welfare system by following up on tip-offs, undertaking surveillance and working with local councils.

– A DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS SPOKESMAN

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