HUNTINGDONSHIRE District Council investigations led to the prosecution of two benefit cheats who between them defrauded the tax payer of over £3,000.

Dave Gibbons, 37, falsely claimed £1,654 of housing benefit between March and October 2012 for a property in Alvis Drive, Yaxley.

The council were made aware of Mr Gibbons deception by the property's genuine residents who responded to a letter saying that he no longer lived at the address.

An investigation revealed that Gibbons had in fact been living in London and had forged a tenancy agreement for the property in Yaxley in order to make the claim.

Gibbons was given a 12 month community order, a six month suspension order, 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £500 on top of returning the full £1,654 made in false claims.

Kerrie Thulborn, 26, of Serjeants Close, Ramsey falsely claimed £1,391.46 through housing and council tax benefit when she failed to report that her partner had moved in with her.

Thulborn had been claiming as an unemployed single parent until February 2012 despite the fact that her partner moved in to the property in October 2011.

Thulborn, who had already made attempts to repay the money overpaid to her, pleaded guilty and was of previous good character, was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay the council's costs of £500.