updated 1/19/2007 8:55:49 PM ET 2007-01-20T01:55:49

LONDON — A British man was sentenced to 10 months in jail Friday for drawing disability benefits while competing in marathons, officials said.

Paul Appleby, 47, who had said he was unable to move without the use of a walking frame or a wheelchair, claimed more than $43,700 in disability payments over 13 years.

Tipped off about Appleby's athletic pursuits, Britain's Department for Work and Pensions began investigating in 2005, agency spokesman Darragh McElroy said.

Video evidence collected in May 2005 by department investigators showed a smiling Appleby running in a 6.2 mile road race.

The year before, Appleby completed London's Flora Marathon with a time of 3:35:03, according to the Web site of his running group, the Sutton-in-Ashfield Harriers and Athletic Club.

A former miner, Appleby had legitimately claimed the allowance in 1994, citing debilitating back pain, but kept his recovery a secret, the agency said.

"He was entitled to it in the first instance," McElroy said. "But he didn't alert us to the change in his circumstances."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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