FRAUD investigators used a social networking site to catch a pair of benefit cheats.

Nicola Derbyshire had claimed housing benefit and jobseekers allowance in Bradley Lane, Bradley Fold, as a single parent since October, 2008.

She had said that her landlord was Adam Heard and that he was living in London.

However, their postings and updates on Facebook showed they were in a relationship and that Derbyshire had moved into Heard’s property at the start of their relationship.

On her Facebook profile, Derbyshire described herself as being married to Heard and she posted photographs of a blessing they arranged with their families present in Cyprus.

Bury Council investigators carried out surveillance and spotted Heard leaving the property to go to work. In June, 2012, Derbyshire was arrested and both she and Heard admitted making false claims for benefit totalling £30,175.

Bury magistrates sentenced Heard, aged 41, to a 12-month community order with 100 hours’ unpaid work and a 12-week curfew between 8pm and 5am.

He was ordered to pay £491 costs.

Derbyshire, aged 37, was given a 12-week jail sentence suspended for one year.

She must also do 200 hours’ unpaid work and pay £569 costs.

The couple will also be required to repay all the money they falsely claimed.