Gosport benefits cheat caught

Nathan Sedgewicke

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BENEFITS cheat Andrew Symes must pay back £20,000 in payments he was not entitled to.

The 43-year-old, of Findon Road in Gosport, pleaded guilty to dishonestly failing to promptly notify Gosport Borough Council and the government that he was self-employed.

He received more than £20,000 in incapacity benefit and housing and council tax benefit. Symes was told he must pay back the money in full plus £100 in costs.

He was also ordered to do 40 hours of unpaid work and was given a seven-day curfew order at Fareham Magistrates’ Court.

The council leader, Cllr Mark Hook, said: ‘This money is collected from hard-working people for those in genuine need, not for people to claim fraudulently.’