A factory worker has been spared jail over an almost £50,000 benefit fraud.
Malcolm Wilson claimed a number of benefits, including housing and council tax relief, between 2007 and 2014 to which he was not entitled.
The 40-year-old, of Kellett Close, Washington, admitted benefit fraud.
At Newcastle Crown Court, Judge Amanda Rippon sentenced him to 15 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements.
The judge told him: “There was an overpayment over that period of just shy of £50,000, which is a lot of money, money that ought to have gone to people that needed it.
“You, at the time, did not need it.”
The court heard Wilson had not declared that he was “pooling resources” with a woman, who had extra income from family at the time.
He is now sole carer to a teenage child.
Paul Caulfield, defending, said Wilson works full time to pay off debts and run his family home.
The court heard Wilson has been in no further trouble since he was interviewed about the benefit fraud offences almost three years ago.