Benefits cheat given curfew by the courts

John Waterman, left, and John Rooney, admitted tending as genuine counterfeit notes at Gunwharf Quays

Man avoids jail after being caught spending fake £50 notes at Gunwharf Quays

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A BENEFITS cheat who swindled £36,000 has been convicted.

Dean Neill, 47, claimed income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit, but failed to disclose that he and his partner were working.

Neill pleaded guilty to two charges of dishonestly making a false statement to the Department for Work and Pensions and dishonestly failing to disclose the work to Chichester District Council.

At Worthing Magistrates’ Court, Neill, of Rookwood Road, West Wittering, was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with a four-month curfew order from 7pm to 7am Sunday to Friday.

The authorities will seek to get back the overpaid benefit.

Councillor Tony Dignum, in charge of finance at Chichester District Council, said: ‘The message from this latest successful prosecution is clear: we will always take action against people who try to cheat the system. We will protect our local communities from those who criminally abuse the benefits system at the expense of hardworking taxpayers.’