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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 19:38 GMT
Coach jailed over benefit claims
Kevin O'Connor
Kevin O'Connor was secretly filmed taking a martial arts class
A karate coach has been jailed for 15 months after falsely claiming 33,000 in incapacity benefit for a bad back.

Kevin O'Connor, 49, from Michigan Grove, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent claimed he could hardly walk due to the injury.

He was arrested after being secretly filmed giving a martial arts class, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard.

The father-of-two admitted two counts of failing to notify authorities of a change of circumstances between 2001 and 2005, at an earlier hearing.

The court heard a "truthful" benefits application was lodged by O'Connor in 1994, after he suffered a severe back injury at work, but that he continued to claim once he took new employment.

'Breach of trust'

The hearing was shown a secretly filmed video showing O'Connor demonstrating various aspects of martial arts to pupils at Stoke's Fenton Manor sports centre.

Surveillance officers observed him undertaking a range of physical activities including running and lifting items as well as demonstrating falls and throws.

The court heard that he also worked as a self-employed security officer at a shop in Silverdale, north Staffordshire.

Judge Mark Eades said: "Your failure to notify the authorities that you were fit to work was a considerable breach of trust."

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