A PENSIONER who dishonestly claimed over £26,000 in benefits will be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court.

Between 2006 and 2012, 69-year-old Ian Dowson claimed pension credit and council tax benefit without notifying the authorities of changes to his circumstances which affected his entitlement, Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard today (Thursday, February 13).

This resulted in him receiving a £26,400 overpayment in benefits from Darlington Borough Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Dowson, of Eggleston View, Darlington, pleaded guilty to five charges of dishonestly making false statements to obtain benefits and failing to notify changes in circumstances affecting his entitlement.

Magistrates declined jurisdiction and his case will be heard at Teesside Crown Court on a date to be fixed.