Northern Ireland

Castlederg carer claimed £32k in illegal benefits

The Social Security Agency has obtained a confiscation order against a Castlederg carer who received £32,157 in benefits he was not entitled to over four years.

Martin Harvey, 42, of Ashleigh Court in the town pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to declare his true circumstances on 29 November 2010.

He received a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

The confiscation order was granted at Dungannon Crown Court on Monday.

Mr Harvey had claimed income support on the grounds of being a full-time carer who had no savings or other source of income.

During his claim, the defendant had failed to declare that he owned a property other than his home.

The court granted a confiscation order to the amount of £34,483 with a sentence of 12 months in default of non-payment.

Mr Harvey has until 4 January 2012 to satisfy the order.