‘Ill’ worker claimed £18k

A man who clamied over £18,000 in incapacity benefits while working as a lorry driver avoided jail this week.

Stephen Brown, 46, held down a job driving trucks to pay for his family but admitted accepting £18,723.52p at the same time.

The court heard the claims began in December 2005 and that Brown, from Stranraer, suffers from a variety of health issues for which he takes regular morphine injections which allowed him to work.

Brown had failed to inform the DWP of his job as he was in debt and said he needed the money to maintain his family.

Lawyer Margo Nicol said that Brown had repaid almost £5000 of the full amount but accepted he faced a lengthy jail term.

Sheriff Robert Vaughan said he was encouraged by the fact Brown had managed to reduce the figure by almost a third, and was prepared to defer sentence for six months for this to continue and for an updated medical report.