A BENEFITS fraud who conned East Ayrshire Council out of more than £20,000 has been told to repay the cash.

William Murphy appeared on indictment at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court and was convicted of two offences under social security legislation.

The New Cumnock man was found to have made false statements to the local authority so that he could claim more than £20,000 in housing benefits and the same amount in income support.

Court papers stated the 54-year-old knowingly made a false statement or representation to council officials on a housing benefit claim form and took part of the money over a period of almost seven years.

Murphy said he did not own a property in order to gain the funds, when in actual fact he owned a home in Tarbolton.

Between the beginning of October 2012 and the middle of June 2019, Murphy obtained housing benefits worth a total of £20,500 to which he was not entitled.

A second charge stated that between August 2009 and June 2019, he made similarly false statements on an income support claim to collect another £20,500, contrary to the Social Security Administration Act.

At a court hearing last week, a confiscation order was imposed requiring Murphy - of Meadow Cottages in Dumfries Road - to repay £41,000.