Wirral benefit cheat jailed for 18 months

A father-of-three who cheated the benefits system out of £67,000 despite having considerable savings has been jailed for 18 months.

Keith Tully, aged 50, dishonestly obtained benefits even though he had been given £111,000 in compensation after being viciously assaulted.

Robert Dudley, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that in May 2002 Tully received the award from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

But instead of telling the DWP, Tully hid the savings in a variety of accounts and lied on a string of claim forms.

When he was eventually arrested, he told investigators: "I’ve been so scared of the telephone, scared of a letter. I’m so glad I’ve been done and it’s come to light."

Tully, of Bryony Way, Birkenhead, admitted, three counts of dishonestly obtaining benefits totalling £67,742 between September 2002 and 2007.

His barrister, John Dixon, said that Tully was a hard working labourer when he was badly injured on New Year’s Eve 2004 after he stepped in to rescue a man being badly beaten in the street.

“He was walking home from a party when he saw a male being very seriously assaulted by two others, kicked and stamped on.

“Fearing serious injury, if not death he intervened, but it turned out he was the one left seriously injured.”

Tully suffered a complete dislocation of the ankle. He has been unable to work since, except for one short period, and began to claim benefits.

Jailing him Judge Bryn Holloway said,“These blatant dishonesties were particularly serious and involved, over a lengthy period of time, claiming substantial amounts of public money to which you were not entitled to and you knew that full well.”

Judge Holloway said he accepted Tully had spent much of the money sending his three children to university.