42ft yacht and a council flat

The BBC’s Panorama programme last night revealed a Croydon benefits claimant as a keen sailor and the owner of a 42ft yacht.

Graham Axford (57), on incapacity benefit since a motorcycle accident in 1996, also owns a half-share of a property in Normandy and has largely lived abroad for seven years, despite continuing to claim multiple benefits and holding onto his South London council flat.

The programme, entitled ‘Britain on the Fiddle’, tracked Mr Axford’s yacht to a boatyard at Carentan in northern France, where it is for sale. He was filmed asking a reporter for a minimum of £25,000 for it.

Mr Axford’s solicitor is reported to have said that his client’s back condition is not incompatible with assisted sailing. It is not specified whether he had help when he sailed from America to the Azores eight years ago.

The documentary programme can be viewed on BBC iPlayer until 2 November 2012.

Image: BBC Panorama