A benefits cheat who fraudulently claimed £15,000 pretending he could barely walk was exposed after being caught on camera playing for his pub football team.
Raymond Billam, aged 38, said he was severely disabled and claimed incapacity benefits.
But fraud investigators were tipped off and secretly filmed Billam playing football for local side Ingsfield Lane FC in the Mexborough and District League from 2008 to 2013.
The man, from Primrose Close, Bolton On Dearne, admitted defrauding the Department of Work and Pensions by taking £15,000 in benefits he was not entitled to, at Barnsley Magistrates Court on March 20. The court was told by prosecutor Julie Grant that he played 87 games over several seasons.
She added: ‘Mr Billam said he could only walk 20 metres before he felt discomfort. Investigators saw him playing football. He was running and jumping.
“Mr Billam said when he was quizzed that he had good days and bad days.”
District Judge John Foster warned Billam could be sent to 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 the crown court for a stiffer sentence than can be imposed here.”
A spokesman for the DWP said: “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. Deliberately not informing us of a change in your condition that may affect your claim is a crime. Don’t wait for our fraud investigators to find you - tell us of a change now. If you suspect someone of benefit fraud call our National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854440.”