1. ITV Report

Three men convicted for benefit fraud worth thousands

The three men were convicted of falsely claiming benefits at Brighton Magistrates' Court Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Three men were convicted of falsely claiming benefits running into the thousands of pounds.

One pretended to be paying rent to his mother, another lied about where he lived and the third was found to be not even eligible to be in the UK.

Stephen Gill, 32, of Rotherfield Crescent, Brighton, claimed more than £28,000 in housing benefit and a further £731 in council tax benefit while he was running a lettings agency.

He falsely told authorities that he was paying rent to his mother and needed to claim housing benefit.

Gill was sentenced to 10 months in prison suspended for one year, ordered to pay £1,980 in costs and told to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.

Yesterday, magistrates at Brighton Magistrates' Court also convicted Lee Simpson, 46, of Stanley Street, Brighton, for falsely claiming more than £10,000 in housing benefit.

They found he had lied about where he lived and, after he failed to turn up to court, issued a warrant for his arrest.

Finally, Alieu Marr, 40, of Farm Road, Hove, pleaded guilty to claiming £29,000 in housing benefit and £1,200 in council tax benefit.

He had also forged a visa stamp in his passport telling authorities he was eligible to claim benefits but his visa to remain in the country had in fact expired in 2003.

The case was referred to the crown court for sentencing.