A pensioner has been ordered to pay back more than £50,000 after pleading guilty to seven years of benefit fraud.

Mr Nazrul Chowdhury, 77, of Bramber Way, Burgess Hill, continued to claim pension credit and council tax benefit despite his wife starting work at a nearby care home.

He also failed to tell the Department for Work and Pensions and Mid Sussex District Council he had started receiving a private pension.

As a result, he was overpaid £52,688 in pension credit and £1,329 in council tax benefit between November 2006 and August 2013.

Mr Chowdhury pleaded guilty to four offences relating to failing to tell the organisations about a change of circumstances at Lewes Crown Court on May 7.

He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay court costs of £300.

The court heard he paid back all money owed to Mid Sussex District Council, but had not paid back any of the money owed to the Department for Work and Pensions.

After hearing that Mr Chowdhury owns his house in Bramber Way, Burgess Hill, the judge ordered him to pay back all of the £52,688 he owes to the Department for Work and Pensions by November 7.

Peter Stuart, head of finance for Mid Sussex District Council, said: “This conviction sends out another clear message to benefit cheats, you simply will not get away with it.”