Bodybuilder
A bodybuilder warms up backstage in preparation for a pose downReuters

A bodybuilding enthusiast has been jailed for six months after he claimed almost £30,000 in disability benefits whilst still competing.

Former Mr Wales, Peter Beddoe said that he was too weak to walk, but in actual fact he was down the gym on a regular basis to prepare for bodybuilding competitions around the UK.

Merthyr Crown Court believed that the 49-year-old's eight year benefit claim, which saw him take home some £28,332 in benefits, was originally genuine, but eventually the pain subsided and he was fit to work once more, without telling the relevant authorities.

Beddoe confessed to committing fraud, before adding: "Everyone exaggerates their claims".

The Aberdare resident received a higher rate of disability benefits as he said that he needed a walking stick or crutches for mobility.

During the time he was claiming, especially in the later stages, Beddoe went to the gym over 1,000 times, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Beddoe suffered a spinal injury in 2000 and took up gym activity as part of the rehabilitation process, the court heard.

Eventually however the treatment turned to passion for Beddoe who took up body building as a hobby.

Judge Recorder Richard Booth called the defendants actions "disgraceful".

Carolyn Davies, the DWP's team fraud leader, said: "Deliberately not informing us of a change in your condition that may affect your claim is a crime.

"Don't wait for our fraud investigators to find you. Tell us of a change now."