A BENEFITS cheat falsely claimed almost £3,000 while he was working.
Phillip Bates, of Baring Street, South Shields, was receiving council tax benefit, income support and incapacity benefit between May and September 2011, on the basis he was unfit for work.
But during that period, inspectors from South Tyneside Council discovered the 39-year-old had a job for demolition firm Thompson’s of Prudhoe.
He pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to notify the council and Department of Work and Pensions of a change in circumstances that would affect his entitlement to benefits.
Charlton James Carr, defending, said; “He has significant medical problems – he has bone disease and has had hip replacements.
“That is why he was on benefits in the first place – this was not a fraudulent claim from the start.”
Magistrates gave Bates a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £85 court costs.