A Woolpit man who falsely claimed thousands of pounds in benefits has been ordered by a judge to hand it back.
Phillip Hogg, 35, of Roman Fields, failed to tell officials that at the time he was claiming housing and council tax benefit he was renting out a property in Colchester.
In May last year Hogg received an eight month prison sentence suspended for two years and was told to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work when he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court after pleading guilty to dishonestly making false statements to Mid Suffolk District Council to obtain benefits between 2008 and 2012.
Today (Friday, June 5), Hogg returned to the same court where Mr Recorder Ian Evans ordered him to repay £26,211 to Mid Suffolk District Council.
In addition, Hogg will have to pay a total of £3,788 towards the prosecution costs, said Mr Recorder Evans.
When Hogg was sentenced last year the court heard that he had been overpaid £26,211 after begining to make false claims for benefits when he moved in with his partner.
Although Hogg’s partner was entitled to housing and council tax benefit, Hogg was not but he began to claim them, telling the council that he was receiving Jobseekers Allowance.
Investigators at Mid Suffolk District Council discovered that Hogg had a property in Butt Road, Colchester, where he was renting out rooms which had been confirmed by payments made into Hogg’s bank account.
Hogg, who represented himself at last week’s hearing, told the court that the property in Colchester had belonged to his father and the income he had received from it had been used to pay running costs and for maintenance.