A MAN has been spared jail after scamming taxpayers out of almost £15,000.

John Partington, aged 65, of Hillside Road, Ramsbottom, claimed housing and council tax benefits accessible to people under a certain income threshold.

But what he did not tell Bury Council is that he was claiming a private pension.

An anonymous tip off alerted benefit fraud investigators and Partington confirmed receipt of a private pension, but stated it had only started last June 2013.

However, an investigation revealed he started receiving the pension in April 2009.

In total, he was given £14,744 that he was not entitled to.

Partington appeared before Bury magistrates on May 20 and admitted one count of failing to declare a change in circumstances.

He was given a four-week prison sentence suspended for a year and ordered to comply with a curfew order, meaning he must stay home from 8pm to 8am daily until July 19.

Partington must also pay back the cash to the council.