A builder who committed fraud by lying about his home being flooded during Storm Desmond has been sentenced.
55 year-old Mark Roland Postlethwaite, of Levens, applied to South Lakeland District Council for a £5,000 grant after the floods. The grants were only availble to flood victims.
Council officers became suspicious after he submitted two invoices, one in the name of his own construction company, which were identical. An investigation found his property had not been flooded.
Postlethwaite was given a 12-month prison term suspended for two years by Recorder Philip Curran yesterday. He must complete 250 hours' unpaid work and must also pay £1,458 costs.
Postlethwaite submitted two invoices - one in the name of his own construction company and a second from what he described as an independent contractor. But council officers became suspicious because both invoices were identical, and appeared to have been "completely cut and pasted".
Neighbours also confirmed there was no flooding at their properties.
Postlethwaite - a married father-of-four - denied two fraud charges but was convicted on both counts by magistrates in July. His evidence was deemed "vague, evasive and unreliable".
Postlethwaite was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court today.
"You have escaped custody by the skin of your teeth," Recorder Curran told him, "and you should reflect long and hard before you ever think of taking any money from the local authority - or anyone else."