Ipswich: Town legend Kevin Beattie says it was “stupidity” to claim benefits illegally

IPSWICH Town’s “greatest-ever player” Kevin Beattie has been placed under a house curfew and ordered to pay just �50 after admitting to illegally claiming nearly �9,000 in benefits.

Beattie, of Wren Avenue, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions that he was working, at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The charge relates to a two-and-a-half year period, between October 29, 2008, and March 29, 2011, when Beattie was working as a contributor and summariser for BBC Radio Suffolk’s coverage of Ipswich Town.

Yesterday Beattie told the East Anglian Daily Times he had been “stupid” not to declare his work.

He said: “It was just naivety on my behalf because I didn’t realise I had to declare it because it wasn’t a great deal. I’m not making any excuses, it’s just stupidity on my behalf. That’s life.”

Beattie, who played 307 games for the Blues, was paid �45 for a Saturday game and �75 for a midweek game.

Beattie’s solicitor, Lucy Osborn, said: “He received an offer from local BBC radio station to comment on Ipswich games taking place each Saturday and he jumped at the chance to do this. He didn’t know for a moment that he was doing anything wrong.”

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The court was told that Beattie, who was voted as Town’s greatest-ever player, was overpaid �8,979 in income support and that he now has “extremely limited means”.

Miss Osborn also told magistrates that he was now acting as a full-time carer for his wife, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is wheelchair-bound.

Prosecutor Claire Furlong said that had he declared this income, his income support would have been stopped or reduced.

Magistrate Debbie Langton ordered Beattie to pay �50 in prosecution costs and placed him under curfew between 10pm and 6am until August 14 this year.

It was not mentioned whether Beattie is currently paying off the benefits he received.