Three men convicted of benefit fraud offences

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Three men were convicted at Belfast Magistrates’ Court today for claiming thousands of pounds in benefits they were not entitled to.

Christopher Thompson, 50, of Hamlet Way, Ballyclare, claimed Income Support and Housing Benefit totalling £13,129 while failing to declare employment. He was given three months imprisonment suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £75 court costs.

Darren Reid, of Malton Drive, Belfast, claimed Income Support totalling £5,309 while failing to declare his partner was working. The 44-year-old was given 100 hours community service and ordered to pay £52 court costs.

Gavin Ferguson, 31, of Rydalmere Street, Belfast, claimed Income Support and Housing Benefit totalling £4,506 while failing to declare employment. He was given 80 hours community service and ordered to pay £40 court costs.

All three men are also required to repay any outstanding money wrongfully obtained to the Department for Communities.