Man guilty of not being guilty!
A series of articles by the Daily Mail:
‘Benefits cheat Magistrate Wayne Middleton ‘grass skiing’ (last week)
‘Magistrate, 48, who appeared on C4 show Coach Trip ‘stole £22,500 in disability benefits while working as salsa instructor’ (Last week)
“”the DWP claims the former zoo volunteer failed to inform them that the condition had improved and continued claiming handouts for six years between 2005 and 2011…He insisted that he had informed the job centre of his activities but failed to notify them that Salsa Bristol was making money”.
‘Magistrate who claimed £22,500 in incapacity allowance for ‘severe pain’ while working as salsa teacher is cleared of fraud’ (yesterday)
“the former zoo volunteer was found not guilty of fraudulently signing paperwork declaring he was incapable of working…District Judge Morgan said: ‘I have found the defendant’s role at Salsa Bristol is more of an involvement in the organisation and administration of the club than that of a leading dancer or instructor. His technique to teach is passive not active.'[Discussing*] his ability to work as a magistrate, she added: ‘The magistracy prides itself on being open to anyone of any ability so I do not find that this is a point the court can attach any importance to.’ She said there was no evidence to prove that Mr Middleton had been earning a wage from Salsa Bristol and breached the conditions he was under to gain incapacity allowance”.
Needless to say, at no point does the Mail apologise.
[* the Mail uses the word ‘dismissing’ here, which is illogical – though a lack of coherence is consistent with the series of articles, in fairness]