A MAN who regular pumped heavy weights in a Chard gym has been revealed to be a benefit fraudster.

Aaron Hooper, 31, told the Department of Work and Pensions he was so disabled he was unable to get out of his wheelchair.

But investigators shot footage of him working out in the gym and walking a mile unaided into Axminster with a guitar slung over his back.

He also featured in an Instagram post pulling his taxpayer-supplied Motability car on a two rope.

Details of his fraudulent behaviour emerged during the trial of his mother, Ann Hooper, who swindled £33,000 out of the taxpayer by making false claims for herself and her two grown-up sons.

She claimed she was too disabled to move and her sons, Aaron and Ryan, 23, were unable to get out of their wheelchairs.

Ann Hooper, 49, of Bonners Glen, Axminster, was jailed for nine months after she was found guilty at Exeter Crown Court of three counts of benefit fraud.

The family all claimed disability or personal independence benefits for three years until they were caught by a surveillance operation mounted by Department of Work and Pension investigators.

They have released two short clips showing Hooper shopping at a supermarket in Axminster on the days before and after she had an assessment of her level of disability at her home.

She told the nurse carrying out the test that she had such poor mobility she could not get onto a sofa and that she could only walk a maximum of 20 metres with the aid of a stick.

Sentencing her, Judge Timothy Rose, who told her: “You must have known the claims were untrue and dishonest and you failed to correct that.

“It spanned two years or so in a way which was so fundamentally dishonest that it is almost impossible to know where to start. The claims were demonstrably untrue.

“You proceeded to lie throughout the trial as if you were ignoring the reality of the situation. You lied extravagantly to the jury. It was ridiculous.”

During the trial, the jury were shown videos of Aaron lifting heavy weights at a gym in Chard and walking unaided through Axminster with a guitar slung on his back.

There was also footage of Ryan walking around the Honiton Show for more than an hour with only a mild limp and social media posts showing him standing in minus 16 degree temperatures on an adventure holiday to Canada. He had also flown to Taiwan on another holiday.

Both brothers were filmed secretly wandering around the back balcony of their home with no visible disability.

Ann Hooper told the jury the claims were genuine and the boys were testing their ability to endure pain when they were filmed.

Barry White, defending, said all three had some genuine disabilities and would have been entitled to some benefits, if not those they claimed.