A shoplifter has appeared in court after pleading guilty to benefit fraud.

Craig Phillip Teare has also admitted stealing fragrances worth £428 from Boots chemist.

The bricklayer is already subject to a two-year suspended sentence, imposed in January 2022 for importing £290-worth of cocaine to the island.

The 36-year-old is also subject to a community service order of which he has so far completed 14 hours.

Magistrates adjourned sentencing for the benefit fraud and theft until March 16, to allow Teare the opportunity to complete more community service hours before he is sentenced.

Prosecuting advocate Barry Swain told the court that the benefit fraud offences had been committed in October and November 2021.

Teare, who lives in Crossag Close, Ballasalla, was claiming incapacity benefit and income support, due to being medically signed off work.

However, information was received that he had been working for a construction company as a sub-contracted bricklayer and had failed to declare this.

This has resulted in him being overpaid £1,057.39 in benefits he was not entitled to.

The theft from Boots occurred on July 1 last year, when Teare stole a number of fragrances from Boots, valued at a total of £428.99.

Defence advocate Paul Rodgers said that the benefit fraud had been committed over a relatively short period of time.

‘Mr Teare was signed off sick at the time,’ said the advocate.

‘He was trying to get back to work and had contacted the benefits office, but he hadn’t done all the formalities.’

Of the Boots theft, Mr Rodgers said: ‘It was an ill-advised decision by someone who was on benefits at the time and trying to provide for his family.’

The advocate said that all the offences were at the lower end of the scale, and that Teare intended to take a week off work to catch up with his community service hours.

Magistrates chair Ken Faragher told Teare that sentencing would be adjourned so that he could be given an opportunity to carry out his promise.

Bail continues.