Disabled man falsely accused of benefit fraud
A one-legged man was falsely accused of fiddling disability benefit after officials examined his wrong leg.
Robert Punter has undergone a nightmare year of anxiety after being taken to court by benefits officials who told him he was not disabled enough to claim the allowance even though he was having his leg amputated.
The mix up occurred because the 63-year-old ex-trucker, whose left leg was shattered in a boyhood shotgun accident, also suffered a serious toe injury to his right foot.
He was prosecuted when officials found a letter in his medical file showing he had made a full recovery from this operation and accused him of lying about his condition.
He is angry at being treated as a dole fiddler despite battling to overcome his disability and working for 47 years, often in excruciating pain.
Mr Punter, of Bushell Road, Newton Abbot, spent months waiting for his case to be heard at Exeter Crown Court where it was thrown out in less than five minutes.
He denied falsely claiming disability living allowance and Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, recorded not guilty verdicts. No evidence was offered by the Department of Work and Pensions.
Mr Punter's left leg was amputated in January.