An engineer has been given a suspended jail sentence after falsely claiming almost £4,000 in benefits.

Ricardo Fernandes, of Sussex Court, Eaton Road, Hove, notified the Benefits Agency when he found a new job and stopped claiming income support, but he continued to claim housing and council tax benefits from Brighton and Hove City Council, despite receiving a £1,200 monthly salary.

A judge at Lewes Crown Court said Fernandes did not set out to be dishonest, but said falsely claiming public funds was still a serious offence.

He gave the 33-year-old a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered him to do 100 hours of community service and pay £200 costs.

He will also have to pay back the £3,936 he claimed.

The council's benefits security manager, Paul Ross-Dale, said: "It is so important that anyone claiming benefits should tell us about changes in circumstances. In some cases it may not affect the benefit, but false benefit claims take money away from genuine claimants and other public services."