Man who cheated benefits system said he only worked briefly to buy his son Christmas presents

Ballymena Court

A MAN who cheated in the benefits system claimed he was only working briefly in the run up to Christmas to buy presents for his son, Ballymena Magistrates Court heard.

Martin Kerr (34), of Carnduff Drive, Ballymena, was ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work.

He was in court on Thursday in connection with charges of failing to declare a change of circumstances and making a false declaration to obtain Jobseekers Allowance in December 2017.

A prosecutor said the total amount involved was £563 and £329 had been repaid from the defendant’s benefits at £18 a fortnight and £234 was still to be paid back.

A defence solicitor said the defendant had been working for two weeks in the run up to Christmas doing “seasonal work” to get money for Christmas to buy presents for his son.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said the benefits system was designed for those “entitled” to payments.

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