A MAN who swindled around £49,000 in benefits over a several years has been sent to jail for six months.

Peter Proctor was told by a judge he had no hesitation in concluding that a prison sentence had to follow.

The 50-year-old of Church Lane, Charnock Richard, who had no previous convictions, admitted four offences of obtaining money by deception and six of false accounting.

He asked for 277 further offences to be taken into consideration by Preston Crown Court.

The case concerned benefits illegally obtained by the defendant between September 1993 and September 2002.

The court heard that any custodial sentence would be detrimental to his health.

But the judge, Recorder Arthur Noble, said "If somebody swindles the public of roughly £49,000, in my judgment it is a case in which only a custodial sentence can be imposed."