Filmed by investigators
Alan Blacker, aka Lord Harley, is in court accused of illegally receiving £60,000 in disability benefits.
Appearing at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court yesterday, Blacker is accused of failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of a change in his circumstances and dishonestly making statements about his physical capacity.
Blacker, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, denies fraud.
The court heard how the 47-year-old had allegedly claimed he was only able to walk with “much intrepidity, pain and fear of falling after only 20 yards”, the Telegraph reports.
But the jury reportedly heard how Blacker, struck off in 2016 after multiple misconduct charges were proven, was filmed by investigators “moving with ease” at Cardiff Crown Court in 2014 following a trial victory.
Blacker is also said to have helped build a model railway and took part in first-aid training — which required physical action — while claiming state handouts between September 1997 and October 2015.
In one claim from 1998 Blacker said: “My whole life centres around avoiding pain, I cannot carry on through life without it really impacting me and causing me real pain. I am not able to keep my focus on any other thing.” He continued:
“I started with these problems in 1996. I have problems with self care. These problems cause a risk to my life”.
Chloe Fordham, prosecuting, told the court: “He [Blacker] said he practiced law through a charity and not for financial gain and was shown footage where he was seen moving about with ease at Cardiff Crown Court in 2014.”
She added: “He [Blacker] told them he won a Crown Court case on behalf of a client and he became particularly elated but it must have been clear to Alan Blacker that once he was able to move around, he should have informed those facts to the DWP. But he knew this would affect his entitlement.”
The DWP stopped his benefits in 2016 following a review. The trial continues.
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