A ST Neots man who worked for two employers while claiming nearly £5,000 in benefits has avoided jail.

Peter Barnes, 29, of Bean Close, appeared at Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court last Tuesday (November 8) after pleading guilty to six charges of claiming housing benefit, council tax benefit and job seekers allowance between August 2008 and September 2010.

He admitted he had claimed £4,854.25 in benefits while stating he was unemployed, but had in fact worked for two employers. The case was brought by Huntingdonshire District Council.

Barnes received a 12-month community order with a requirement to undertake 120 hours of unpaid work. He has made arrangements to repay the benefits claimed, and was ordered to pay the council costs of £520.

The chair of the bench told him that his co-operation with the investigation, guilty pleas and arrangements to repay the defrauded sums had kept him out of prison.