‘Arthritic’ benefits cheat caught after she chained herself to equipment at fracking protest

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A FRACKING protester clambered on equipment and shackled herself down – while illegally claiming thousands on one of the highest level of disability benefit.

Catherine Jackson, 51, said she could barely stand due to arthritis and rarely left the house due to panic attacks despite attending the rally against the Cuadrilla plant.

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Catherine Jackson, 51, was photographed having chained herself to equipment at an anti-fracking protest[/caption]

She was photographed at the Little Plumpton site in Lancashire shackled to equipment during a protest against fracking and police were forced to use angle grinders to release her.

The protester pocketed £5,392 of Personal Independence Payments between June 2017 and May 2018.

She told authorities she slept most of the days, was in constant agony and had to be woken for meals by her daughter.

The mum said she had arthritis and claimed the extreme pain in her shoulder meant she couldn’t hold anything so couldn’t cook for herself.

But she was photographed shackled to equipment in “physically demanding protests” that “would be challenging for most people”.

Ms Jackson was dishonestly claiming this money and was not nearly as incapacitated as she claimed.


Justine McVitie, Crown Prosecution Service

Justine McVitie of the Fraud Unit at the Crown Prosecution Service said: “She locked herself onto equipment that meant she had to remain in the same position for quite some time.

“This, again, would be difficult if she was as disabled as she claimed.

“Part of her defence was that the activity helped her mental health condition, but that was unconvincing.

“It was clear to the CPS that Ms Jackson was dishonestly claiming this money and was not nearly as incapacitated as she claimed.

Jackson, of Fleetwood, Lancs., admitted dishonestly failing to notify the authorities of changes in her circumstances at Blackpool magistrates court on Monday.


She was handed a 23 week sentence suspended for two years and told she must remain at home between 7pm and 7am for three months.

Ms McVitie said: “Ms Jackson has taken thousands of pounds of that money that is much needed elsewhere.

“We hope this sends out a warning to other people claiming money that they’re not entitled to.”

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Ms Jackson was handed a 23 week sentence suspended for two years[/caption]


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