Whitby club’s boxing coach ordered to repay fraudulent benefit claims

Boxing Club feature''Head coach Stewart Lorains ''w140711c
Boxing Club feature''Head coach Stewart Lorains ''w140711c
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The head coach at Whitby’s boxing club faces losing his home after being ordered to repay more than £16,000 worth of fraudulently claimed benefits.

Stewart Lorains, who lives in Loftus but travels to Whitby three times a week to coach local kids, appeared at Teeside Crown Court this week to learn his fate after previously being found guilty of claiming disability benefits while opening the batting and keeping the wicket for his local cricket team in Boosbeck.

The offences took place prior to him becoming involved with the Whitby club - which is run in conjunction with the local police force.

However, the court hearing this week was to hear the outcome of a Proceeds of Crime Act following an earlier hearing where Lorains, 54, admitted pocketing over £24,000 in Disability Living Allowance Payments.

He got caught out when he was secretly filmed playing cricket by the Department for Work and Pensions and was handed a suspended jail sentence for failing to notify a change of circumstances.

Prosecutor Martin Towers told the court this week it had been agreed that arthritis sufferer Lorain - who claimed he needed daily assistance with everyday tasks such as washing, going to the toilet and dressing - benefitted from his crime to the tune of £24,505.

It was also agreed that there was £16,209 available from his existing assets which could be returned to the state.

Mr Towers revealed the house Lorains shares with his wife in Liverton Mines, Saltburn was valued at £74,500, while the outstanding mortgage repayments totalled £42,081.

Judge Peter Bowers asked Lorains’ barrister Tamara Pawson if he would now have to sell the house, to which she nodded and replied: “It is his only main asset”.

Lorains – described as an “active sportsman” and “upstanding member of the community” - was given a four month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, in September last year after exaggerating the extent of his illness.

He began claiming benefit in November 2008 for arthritis, diabetes and asthma but played 41 cricket games between 2009 and 2012, scoring 614 runs.

n all Lorains’ fraudulent claim stretched from May 6, 2009 to October 23, 2012.

He will have to pay the £16,209, within six months after being ordered by the judge.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “This Government is introducing tougher new measures to further deter people from committing benefit fraud.

“Fraudsters need to know on top of any punishments handed by the court, we always seek to recover the stolen money back from convicted criminals.”