AN ultimate fighting champ and his wife are being forced to sell their cars to repay some of the money they made during a three-year tax fraud.

Ian Freeman was convicted in March of evading income tax and national insurance by not declaring his earnings from bouts around the world.

He and his wife Angela, 35, a pharmacy assistant, also received £12,352 in tax credits to which they were not entitled, during the same period.

The County Durham couple were spared prison sentences, but have been pursued by Revenue & Customs under Proceeds of Crime Act legislation.

Yesterday, the Freemans' barristers and prosecutors agreed on the level of the couple's benefit, and what assets they have available to meet the bill.

Freeman - dubbed The Machine by ultimate fighting fans - gained £30,286, and has to pay £4,250 from the sale of his Mercedes and private plate.

His wife is said to have benefited to the sum of 6,837 and has been ordered to pay back £6,490 from the sale of her Audi A4 and registration plate.

Judge Les Spittle, sitting at Teesside Crown Court, was told that the cars are not in very good condition, but will be marketed after Christmas.

The Freemans, of Badger's Wood, Stanley, admitted three counts of making fraudulent claims for tax credits, between January, 2003, and July, 2006.

The 42-year-old former fighting champion, an ex-doorman, also pleaded guilty to evading income tax by failing to declare his earnings.

He also admitted falsely furnishing information - stating his annual income was £70,000 to make a mortgage application for their £250,000 home.

At the March hearing at Newcastle Crown Court, he was given a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for a year, and a 120-hour community service order.

His wife received a six-week community order, and they were both ordered to pay £1,000 costs.