By Duncan Mackay

Simon Jackson Atlanta 1996December 13 - Britain's triple Paralympic judo gold medallist Simon Jackson has been convicted of fraudulently claiming more than £10,000 of taxpayers' money.

Jackson, who is visually impaired, claimed £10,890 ($17,581/€13,438) for taxis to work when he was, in fact, being driven there by his wife. 

The 40-year-old from Rochdale was caught by Department of Work and Pensions investigators after a week-long surveillance operation.

Jackson was allowed to claim taxis to get to the school where he works as a mentor as he cannot use buses.

He pleaded guilty to claiming between £15 ($24/€19) and £27 ($44/€33) for each journey for ten months in 2010 and 2011.

He told magistrates in Manchester: "I'm ashamed of making the claims.

"I realise it's going to impact on the rest of my life and I will lose my job."

He admitted two charges of fraud by false representation relating to taxi payments.

Harold Smith, prosecuting, told the court: "The taxi company had no records of any journeys claimed by the defendant through the access to work accounts."

Simon Jackson in front of tracksuitsSimon Jackson won gold medals in three consecutive Paralympics

Jackson, who on his personal website claims that his "best blag" is "getting air stewardesses to help me put my seat belt on", won gold medals at Seoul in 1988, Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996.

In Barcelona it took him only five seconds to win the final. 

He also won a bronze medal at Sydney in 2000.

Jackson was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 1997.

He retired from judo in 2008 but took up cycling and after only a few months training won two silver medals at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester.

Jackson is due to be sentenced on January 22 following reports.

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