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Monday, 19 January 2009

Surfer jailed after chasing the endless summer

We all know the story of Point Break, surfers robbing banks to fund an Endless Summer chasing waves around the world....well heres the real life British version. The guy was defrauding social benefits, which isn't quite as glamorous as being a sky-diving dead president, but he was doing it to fund the dream of eternal surf

Source is "The Sun" Newspaper

"A SURFER was jailed yesterday for claiming £63,500 in disability benefits while working as a LIFEGUARD.

Joe Olroy, 44, said he had chronic back pain and other ailments that made it “impossible to move” without a wheelchair.

He claimed he was so weak he could not lift a kettle or TV remote control. But in reality he had a £6-an-hour job for the RNLI in Devon — and enjoyed surfing holidays in Australia, Bali, Hawaii and America.

He posted dozens of images of himself on the internet surfing big waves and was even hailed a hero after saving four kids at sea.

A court heard he used a false ID, telling his local job centre he had lost all his documents on holiday when the Asian tsunami hit Sri Lanka in 2004, killing his girlfriend.

The cheat claimed disability allowance, incapacity benefit, income support, housing benefit and council tax relief during his five-year scam.

Olroy, of Paignton, Devon denied his guilt when he was grilled twice following a tip-off to the Department of Work and Pensions.

But he was eventually caught when investigators confronted him on Teignmouth beach — wearing a lifeguard T-shirt.

Olroy was jailed yesterday for 2½ years at Exeter Crown Court after admitting his guilt.

Judge David Tyzack QC told the cheat: “This was a massive fraud on the taxpayer.”

A DWP spokesman said Olroy stole to fund “the dream surf lifestyle”.

He added: “He was telling us he was in so much pain he couldn’t lift a kettle and found it impossible to move.

“He was obviously having a great time at the taxpayers’ expense.”

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