A MAN who moved house but continued to claim almost £4,500 in benefits for his old address has been ordered to pay the money back.

Michael Laurenson-West of Chiltern flats, Coleman Street, Southend, admitted failing to report a change in his circumstances and ten counts of retaining a wrongful credit when he appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court.

He began claiming housing and council tax benefits in June 2010 when he was living in Southchurch Avenue but, after moving to Chiltern flats on October 31 2012, bank statements show he continued to claim for his old address.

Laurenson-West, 69, was handed a four-week curfew, ordered to pay £100 costs and a £60 victim surcharge as well as having to pay back £4,465.55 of wronglyreceived housing benefit.

Sally Holland, Southend Council’s corporate services director, said: “It is an offence to commit benefit fraud and, as this case shows, repayment of benefit is not the only action the council may wish to take.

“If anyone has suspicions over a person’s entitlement to benefit they can call the Corporate Fraud Investigation Team direct on 01702 215254, or email coun terfraud@southend.gov.uk”