A Midland council candidate has been jailed after he scammed nearly £50,000 out of the benefits system.

Liberal Democrat candidate, Clive Parsons, aged 64, of Cotswold Close, Kidderminster, wrongfully claimed Incapacity Benefit and Disability Living Allowance over a four-year period starting in December 2002.

He told the Department for Work and Pensions that he could only walk two yards in 20 seconds and needed two walking sticks.

He also claimed he needed someone with him when he was out because he stumbled frequently and could not stand unsupported.

But Mr Parsons, who stood as a Wyre Forest District Council candidate in Lickhill Ward last year and Sutton Park in 2006, was exposed as a fraud when he was spotted working as a doorman at Kidderminster Harriers Supporters Club.

After a tip off to the authorities, undercover officers from the DWP filmed Mr Parsons walking unaided and unaccompanied during numerous shopping trips.

Now, the crook has been sentenced to 12 months in prison and he has been told to repay the full £48,863.

At a hearing at Worcester Crown Court, Mr Parson was told to repay £18,050 Disability Living Allowance, £21,464 Incapacity Benefit and £9,348 Pension Credit.

Anti-fraud Minister Tony McNulty said: “Benefit thieves take money intended for the most vulnerable in our society.

“Quite rightly the public get angry about such antisocial behaviour and with their support we are closing in on these thieves.

“When people commit benefit theft, they don’t get away with it.

“They face imprisonment, fines and other penalties.

“We will also make sure they pay back the money they have stolen from the taxpayer and seek to ensure any proceeds from their crime are confiscated too.”

The news comes one month after the court case was delayed when Mr Parsons apparently collapsed in the dock at Worcester Crown Court as he was about to be sentenced.