Disability benefits cheat who spent holidays quad biking and scuba diving sentenced

Hoey was jailed for a total of 18 months suspended for two years after telling

Hoey was jailed for a total of 18 months suspended for two years after telling'bare-faced lies to the Department for Work and Pensions

Linda Hoey, 58, claimed £65,224 in Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from 1995 to 2016 declaring arthritis and back problems meant she could only walk four metres, could not walk unaided, was unable to bend, and would be housebound without the help of her husband.

A BENEFIT fraudster from Tamworth who used her disability vehicle to avoid over £15,000 of M6 Toll charges and falsely claimed over £65,000 in disability payments has been given an 18-month suspended prison sentence.

Today, Monday 25 September she was spared immediate custody after being given an 18-month jail term, suspended for two years, and a six-month electronic curfew.

However, a holiday photograph showed her enjoying a spot of snorkelling overseas, while work colleagues told how she would carry trays with cups of tea.

Her claims "were nothing more than bare faced lies which you continued in this court", he told her.

"These benefits were for people who were genuinely disabled".

'The fact that you are now shunned by your neighbours comes as no surprise what so ever.

Other pictures of Hoey on her knees altering her daughter's wedding dress and bent over a snooker table with a cue in her hands revealed the true extent of her mobility.

Jurors were told how she regularly used the M6 Toll for free as she was on the highest mobility element of the allowance, and got an updated auto free of charge.

Despite claiming that her arthritis meant she was unable to work, she was employed full-time for PartsWorld, a auto accessory supplier in Cannock, for 17 years.

Her former boss as PartsWorld Stewart Halstead told the court he did not know Hoey had long-term health problems and had never seen her use a stick.

Sentencing her at Stafford Crown Court, Judge Michael Elsom told her that she was "someone whose word can not be trusted".

This allowed her to receive an exemption pass under false pretences and rack up a further £15,690 worth of free travel on the M6 Toll Road. "She has lied and exaggerated, cheating you, me and the public out of money from the public purse".

He also said she walked up the office's spiral staircase carrying a tray of hot drinks.

A restraining order has been put on her property - including her home, a narrow boat - pending a a Proceeds of Crime hearing scheduled for January.

Mr Pedley added: "On top of that is the stigma of being a convicted benefits fraudster".

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