A FORMER army officer was overpaid more than £3,500 in benefits after failing to tell South Lakeland District Council that he was working and receiving an army pension.

Nicholas Cross, 62, of Lingmoor Rise, Kendal, was receiving Jobseekers Allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit.

But South Lakeland Magistrates’ Court heard that Cross had also started working as a night porter at Stonecross Manor, Kendal, and had an army pension arranged for him by the Royal British Legion.

Cross pleaded guilty to a total of four charges which dated between May 9 2011 and April 14 2013.

In mitigation Nick Renshaw said Cross suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and that “his way to deal with the world is to shut it out.”

The court heard that he had already begun to pay back the overpayment of £3,597.74.

He was fined £240 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Chair of the bench Pam Keegan said: “We believe that when you applied for benefits you did it honestly and that the offence has occurred because of an issue of neglect rather than because you set out to defraud benefits authorities.”