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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 June 2006, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Benefit cheat's luxury lifestyle
Terence Pendleton
Terence Pendleton allegedly was living a champagne lifestyle
A businessman who claimed more than 50,000 in state handouts has appeared in court on fraud charges.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Terence Pendleton, 45, of Knowsley Village, Merseyside, had a home with electric-gates and drove a Rolls-Royce.

But the father-of-two told officials he lived in a bedsit flat in West Derby.

Mr Pendleton denies 11 charges of false accounting and a charge of dishonestly failing to give prompt notification of a change of circumstances.

Peacocks in garden

Prosecutor Kevin Slack claimed Mr Pendleton paid no council tax and netted thousands of pounds in income support, housing and disability payouts, despite enjoying expensive holidays in the USA, owning an apartment in Gran Canaria and having peacocks in the garden of his Knowsley Village home.

He said: "The house is a well-appointed property, the entrance is gated by electric gates with peacocks roaming in the garden.

"It is clear that the flat has not been inhabited for a substantial number of years."

The court heard that Mr Pendleton claimed he was too ill to work as he could barely walk without the aid of crutches and could not stand for more than five minutes.

However, the court was told Mr Pendleton was in fact running a successful business, T&S Tools, selling power tools from New Smithfield market in Manchester.

Surveillance videos taken by benefit cheat investigators showed him working at the market, carrying a heavy trestle table over his head and loading boxes into his van.

Season ticket

He also held a season ticket at Liverpool FC, in the upper stand of the Anfield Road end, which had no disabled access, the court was told.

The charges of false accounting date between 1996 and 2004 and the charge of failing to notify authorities to a change of circumstances between December 2001 and March 2005.

They relate to allegations that Mr Pendleton lied on benefit application forms about living alone and being unfit for work.

Benefit fraud team 'ineffective'
25 May 06 |  Northern Ireland

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