False claim led to jail

A man has been jailed for 15 months after falsely claiming benefits.

A man has been jailed for 15 months after falsely claiming benefits.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Warren Patterson, 34, of Hertford, Allerdene, Gateshead, claimed Jobseekers Allowance for six months from January 1998 despite having thousands of pounds worth of savings in two bank accounts.

Benefit investigators used new powers to check Patterson's bank accounts and discovered he had savings between £2,000 and £43,300 and had made two withdrawals totaling £40,000 in November 2003. Patterson admitted a charge of failing to notify a change in circumstances.

Milestone year

NEWCASTLE University has announced that its annual turnover has risen above the £250m barrier, the first North-East college to do so.

The annual accounts have shown that the university's income for the academic year was £276.1m, a 10.6% rise on the previous year's figures.

Keyring clue

DETECTIVES want to identify a man pictured in a keyring following a theft.

The 47-year-old victim was walking through South Shields town centre when he had his wallet stolen and during a brief struggle with the thief he managed to grab the man's picture keyring. The theft took place between 1am and 1.30am on December 9. Police now want to speak to the man whose photograph is in the keyring, or from anyone who recognises him. Call (0191) 454-7555, ext 65126.

Panto treat

NEARLY 2,000 schoolchildren from inner city areas in Tyne and Wear will get pantomime tickets thanks to fundraising by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Newcastle office.

Staff have so far raised nearly £3,000 towards the cost of putting on the performance of Jack and the Beanstalk at The Journal Tyne Theatre on February 10 and 11. The show will be performed entirely by staff from the accounting firm.

Licence warning

TELEVISION watchers are being urged to ensure they don't get any nasty surprises this Christmas by ensuring their licence is up to date.

TV licensing inquiry officers will be working during the festive period, and last year 300 evaders were caught. For information on paying your licence, call (0870) 241-5590 or visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer