A 68-YEAR-OLD man claiming disability living allowance on the basis it took him five minutes to walk 150 yards was caught playing golf.

Blackburn magistrates heard Malcolm Gregson claimed he had only taken up the game on the recommendation of a friend to try and improve his phy- sical condition.

But his lack of a handicap resulted in an over-payment of £6,700.

Gregson, of Meadow Street, Great Harwood, pleaded guilty to fraudulently failing to disclose an impr-ovement in his mobility restrictions. He was fined £200, with £105 costs.

Gareth Price, defending, said the proceedings had had a significant effect on Gregson, who had no previous convictions, and his wife.

“Neither of them has any experience of crim-inal procedure, and this has been hanging over them for several months,” said Mr Price.

“Waiting for the summ-ons to drop through the letter box has been part of the punishment.”

Mr Price said the claim had been genuine for a long time following an accident which signific-antly impaired his mobility.

“He could walk 150 yards but only very slowly,” said Mr Price. “A friend suggested exercise may be the answer, and he was advised to try golf.

“It requires you to walk, but there are numerous stops along the way.”

Mr Price said Gregson was ashamed and bitterly regretted that, at 68, he had lost his good name.