A SALE man was convicted of benefit fraud after falsely obtaining more than £4,000 in housing and council tax benefit.

Thomas Fitzsimmons, 47, of Chilcote Avenue, was sentenced to a 12-month community order at Trafford Magistrates’ Court, on January 10.

He also has to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work, pay £250 towards the prosecution costs and the council will recover all the falsely obtained monies from Mr Fitzsimmons.

Magistrates heard he had provided false income details on his benefit claim, showing his self-employed earnings were significantly less than they actually were.

This resulted in him being overpaid both Housing and Council Tax Benefit by £4296.11 between January 3 2011 and November 4 2012.

Executive councillor, Sean Anstee, said: "Once again the Council has demonstrated its determination to prosecute individuals who make false benefit claims.

“This case reinforces why it is important people inform us of any changes in their circumstances, including variations in earnings as soon as possible.

"We can then make sure that public money goes to those who are eligible for support."

If you suspect anyone of benefit fraud, contact Trafford Council on 0161 912 2852 or via Freefone number 0800 328 6340.