A BENEFITS cheat falsely claimed £14,000 he wasn't entitled to when he wasn't an official carer.

Keith Laidlaw, of Scales Crescent, Prudhoe, formally of Main Street, Acomb, claimed the money after telling the Department for Work and Pensions he was the only carer for his partner.

However, a court heard, Laidlaw's partner had been assisted by carers from 2016.

The 51-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of dishonestly making a claim for benefits at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Glenda Beck, prosecuting, told the court how Laidlaw claimed a total of £14,152 in Income Support and Carer's Allowance in 2016.

Sophie Allinson, defending, said Laidlaw was assisting his girlfriend when they started a relationship.

She added: "When her health deteriorated later, when carers formally became involved, the claim should have ceased but it didn't."

District Judge Paul Currer adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

"Should the report come back and it is unfavourable, I'm not ruling out committal for sentence," he said.

Laidlaw was released on unconditional bail and will return to North Tyneside Magistrates' Court on Friday, August 7.