A PENSIONER has repaid more than £10,000 in fraudulently claimed benefits after he failed to declare a savings account containing thousands of pounds.

Malcolm Dawson, 65, was “mortified” to receive a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions informing him he had received a substantial overpayment of his Employment and Support Allowance.

Between August 2015 and September 2017, the retiree of Belle Street, Stanley, County Durham, collected £10,244.99 in overpayments after failing to notify a change in his circumstances.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday that Dawson was given an ISA by his father containing several thousand pounds. As the savings totalled more than £16,000, the sum crossed the upper threshold to receive benefits.

Allan Devine, mitigating, said his client had fully repaid the sum as soon as he understood his mistake and had “not considered” the savings account as he had not withdrawn money from it from three years.

Dawson was fined £164 and ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £30 victim surcharge.