Chichester benefits cheat is convicted of fraud

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A MAN has been convicted of swindling more than £3,400 in benefits.

Paul Evans, 43, claimed housing benefit to help with the rent when he moved into the Coach and Horses in St Pancras, Chichester, in July 2010.

He left the property the following year but continued to claim housing benefit for more than six months.

Evans originally appeared at Chichester Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to promptly notify Chichester District Council of a change in circumstances.

He was sentenced to 80 hours of community work to be completed within one year.

He was ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60.

The council will seek to recover all the overpaid benefit.

Councillor Tony Dignum, who oversees finance at Chichester District Council, said: ‘This case highlights the fact that theft from the public purse – money belonging to the community – will not be tolerated.’