A FORMER pub manager was convicted of benefit fraud after his picture appeared in the Oxford Mail.

Malcolm Price was claiming housing and council tax benefit when he appeared in the paper in a story about The Sprat pub in Didcot where he was working.

But Price, of Kibble Close in Didcot, had not told South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) he had the job, and claimed more than £6,400 in benefits he was not entitled to.

The 48-year-old admitted failing to report a change in circumstance at Oxford Magistrates’ Court earlier this month.

SODC said Price was caught after a tip-off from a member of the public in October 2011 who said he was working in the Hagbourne Road pub.

Checks confirmed it and also found Price had appeared in the Oxford Mail in January 2011.

In all, Price illegally claimed £5,297.72 in housing benefit and £1,155.25 in council tax benefit from June 2010 to November 2011.

Magistrates ordered him to repay the money and imposed an eight-week curfew requirement – restricting him to his home address between 8pm and 7am every night. He was also ordered to pay a £60 victims’ surcharge and £300 costs.

David Dodds, SODC’s cabinet member for finance, said: “When someone who claims benefits starts a new job they must inform us immediately.

“Failure to do so could result in a prosecution and a criminal record.”