A STAVELEY man falsely claimed more than £1,000 in benefits, a court heard.

Michael Littlewood, of Beck Nook, admitted eight counts of dishonestly failing to notify changes in his circumstances when he appeared at South Lakeland Magistrates’ Court.

Littlewood, a 62-year-old man with a string of health problems, secured employment in April 2012. The court heard that he made two claims for incapacity benefit, income support, council tax benefit and housing benefit between April and September 2012.

He benefitted by £1,057.01, the court was told.

In police interview Littlewood said he did not notify the authorities because he wanted to see whether he was capable of doing the work.

In mitigation Suzie Kavanagh said: “He was a heavy good vehicle driver but lost his job due to ill health.

“He was in a desperate position and wanted to work to clear debts. He made the fatal mistake to do that work while claiming benefits.”

Littlewood was given a four- month curfew, from 7pm to 6am, and was also made to pay £85 court costs and a £60 victim surcharge.