A COUNCILLOR could be facing a jail sentence after dishonestly claiming £6,500 in benefits.

Redcar and Cleveland councillor, David Tomlin, 64, pleaded guilty to three counts of false representation at Teesside Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Tomlin, who represents the Normanby ward, has been a Labour councillor for around 16 years.

It is understood he has resigned from the Labour party.

Tomlin declined to comment on whether he would continue as a councillor.

The court was told the councillor, of Ellerbeck Way, Ormesby, filled in housing and council tax claim forms on three separate occasions over three years without declaring substantial capital assets.

Gerard Tompkinson, prosecuting, said Tomlin filled in a claim form for housing and council tax benefit in June 2003.

But he failed to declare he had £11,800 in a Northern Rock account and £3,000 in an Abbey account.

In mitigation, David Dedman said the councillor had repaid the council tax over-payments and was to fully repay the remaining £5,000.

Tomlin is due to be sentenced next month.