Man spotted protesting on lorry despite pocketing £9k in disability benefits

A fraudster who pocketed £9,000 after claiming he was too afraid to leave his house had been filmed protesting on a lorry for over 24 hours during an anti-fracking protest.

John Knox, 33, of Liverpool, was found guilty of benefit fraud at Preston Crown Court today after fraudulently claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance at the time of the video.

Knox's overpayment of personal independence payments (PIP) reached almost £9,000.

The scammer told the court he suffered "physical and mental ailments" despite videos from June 30, 2017, capturing him scaling lorries in Little Plumpton, Lancashire.

Once up there he chained himself to other protesters and remained there for more than 24 hours, from 8am to 10.30am the following day.

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Knox was fined after admitting wilful obstruction of the highway.

In the clip, Knox remained on the top of the lorry behind a fence and a shield of police men.

Knox clambers across the fracking truck's equipment driving along Preston New Road as police attempt to control the crowds.

An officer is seen pleading with the man, appearing to repeatedly ask Knox to get down.

Knox pleaded not guilty for failing to notify the Department of Work and Pensions over the change in his circumstances.

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He was convicted by prosecutors after making a statement that he needed assistance getting showered, getting dressed and leaving the house.

A DWP spokesman told Blackpool Gazette: "We have zero tolerance of anyone fraudulently claiming benefits and will take swift action to investigate, supporting our partners and prosecutors to bring them to justice."

Knox's sentencing has been adjourned until March 9.

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