Man claiming disability benefits spotted appearing as extra on Sherlock, The Cafe and Torchwood

Man claiming disability benefits spotted appearing as extra on Sherlock, The Cafe and Torchwood
Promotional poster for Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch (left) and Martin Freeman.

A TV extra who featured in a host of shows including Casualty has been jailed after swindling almost £72,000 in benefits in the UK.

John Lewis, 65, told the Department for Work and Pensions he was too ill to work and was virtually unable to walk.

Cardiff Crown Court heard Lewis collected £54,597.35 in higher rate disability living allowance payments, £12,991.12 in income support and £4,408.20 in pension credit.

But a judge was told the wannabe thespian was caught on camera "skipping across the road" as an extra in the Ralf Little-penned Sky TV show The Cafe.

An investigation also found the defendant made fleeting appearances in BBC dramas Sherlock and Torchwood while claiming state handouts.

Lewis, whose wife has throat cancer, said in his defence he has had a string of knee operations and some days are better than others.

However, Lewis admitted making dishonest benefit claims when he appeared before Judge Jonathan Furness on Thursday.

Lewis, of Barry, south Wales, was handed an immediate 20-week prison sentence.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "Only a small minority of benefit claimants try to cheat the system, but cases like this show how we are rooting out fraudsters who are stealing money from taxpayers and diverting resources away from those who really need it."


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