“The pain started as soon as he got up and started walking. He suffered pain in his knees and ankles when he walked and was unable to stand for long.
Robert Woodbridge walked free despite a judge telling him: “Your dishonesty was, it has to be said, quite brazen and extended for some months.
On several occasions he was carrying items to his car, driving, walking up and down steep steps, pulling a trailer and even building a shed at his allotment.
Woodbridge, who later stood in elections for the Green Party and Liberal Democrats, denied dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances, claiming he had good days and bad days, but he was convicted by a jury in just 20 minutes last month.
But after he renewed his claim in December 2013 he received a higher rate “care component” paid on the basis he needed help both day and night and a higher rate mobility component payable on the basis he was virtually unable to walk.
“We are not questioning the basis of his initial application,” said Mr Fowler.