A ROYSTON man has been found guilty of benefit fraud after falsely claiming more than £12,000 that he was not entitled to.

Derek Carpenter, 61, of Ashley Court, Royston, was convicted at Sheffield Crown Court after falsely claiming housing and council tax benefit and Job Seeker's Allowance.

Fraud officers accessed his bank accounts and also discovered that whilst he was being paid benefits he was advertising on the internet as a sales and marketing director, a business coach and personal development mentor. 

Derek Carpenter is a governor for Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and has also been on the Barnsley College board of governors and Vice President of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.

He received £5,587.03 housing benefit, £2,043.17 council tax benefit and £4,880.60 in Job Seekers Allowance.

The court heard that Mr Carpenter received income in excess of £27,000 which he had failed to declare.

He was sentenced to four months' imprisonment suspended for 12 months and was ordered to complete 150 hours' unpaid work in the community.

The benefit obtained is being repaid.