CHESTER magistrates have punished a man and a woman for fraudulently claiming thousands of pounds in benefits.

Jamil Ahmed, of Sherbourne Road, Westminster Park, Chester, pleaded guilty to failing to declare a change in his circumstances concerning the commerciality of his tenancy.

He had fraudulently claimed £9,420.28 in Housing Benefit.

Ahmed has to repay the amount in full to Chester City Council.

He also received an 18-month Community Rehabilitation Order and was ordered to pay £200 costs towards legal proceedings.

In a separate case, Julia Lucas, of Dicksons Drive, Chester, pleaded guilty to three charges of failing to notify a change in her circumstances and asked for 33 other offences to be taken into account.

Lucas had failed to declare to both Chester City Council and the Department for Work and Pensions that she had capital and was, as a result, wrongfully paid £12,464.91 in Council Tax benefit and Income Support,

Lucas, who has to repay the money in full, was ordered by Chester magistrates to serve a two-year conditional discharge and pay £95 legal costs.

To report benefit cheats in confidence, call 01244 402160 or e-mail