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Dancer spared jail over benefits

A 61-year-old jazz dancer who fraudulently claimed nearly £20,000 in disability benefits has walked free from court.

Terence Read said he was crippled by arthritis and barely able to walk but his condition improved following a hip replacement operation.

He failed to notify the change in his circumstances to the Department for Work and Pensions and officials later covertly filmed him dancing enthusiastically at a swing music night after receiving an anonymous tip-off that he was wrongly claiming Disability Living Allowance.

Read, of Blackley, Manchester, was caught on camera gliding across the dancefloor and spinning his dance partner around while being cheered on by crowds of onlookers at an event in his home city.

Sentencing Read at Manchester Crown Court, Judge Rudland told him that in his case public interest was not served by imposing a custodial sentence.

He was given a 12-month community order and ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work

The court heard that Read had legitimately claimed for benefits for 10 years from March 1995.

He suffered arthritis from the age of 25 and in the early 1990s he was virtually housebound.

However, the operation on his left leg provided "instant relief" and proved such a success he was able to take an interest in his new hobby.

He illegally continued to claim Disability Living Allowance between June 2005 and December 2008 to the tune of £19,915.

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