A benefit cheat has been spared an immediate jail sentence after fraudulently claiming more than £21,000.
Unemployed Martin Harris falsely claimed the cash after failing to disclose that his partner had £55,000 in savings following a compensation payout.
Lynn magistrates heard the claims were fraudulent from the outset as he did not want to rely on his partner to support him after losing his job.
Harris, 24, who lives with his partner in Buckenham Drive, Stoke Ferry, admitted three counts of benefit fraud when he appeared at court on Tuesday.
He was sentenced to eight weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to complete a 12-month community order with 200-hours unpaid work, and pay £100 costs.
Yvonne Neill, prosecuting for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), told the court Harris was overpaid £21,377.40 in Job Seekers Allowance, council tax benefit and housing benefit.
He claimed Job Seekers Allowance between September 2010 and May 2012, and housing and council tax benefits from January 2010.
She said: “He claimed benefits he was not entitled to by failing to disclose the full extent of his partner’s savings.
“The claims were false from the outset and had the true facts been known, no benefits would have been payable.”
Ms Neill said Harris was caught out in May last year.
In interview with the DWP, he said: “I hold my hands up, she (his partner) didn’t want to do any of this.”
The court heard Harris’ partner had more than £55,000 in savings, which she received in compensation following an accident.
John Clark, representing Harris, said: “His motivation was purely for financial gain. He had a skewed sense of not wanting to rely on his partner to support him.
“He now has to live with the uncertainty of how he’s going to pay back the money. He will owe them money for a great deal of his life.”