A man who illegally claimed more than £2,000 in benefits in Radlett was ordered to pay the money back at Watford Magistrates Court on Friday.

Giovanni Finco claimed £86-a-week in housing benefit between September 2008 and April 2009 for a flat on Craigweil Avenue.

However, he only lived there for two weeks and, in failing to notify Hertsmere Borough Council when he moved, Finco, 41, was able to claim a total of £2,408 for the Radlett flat.

Finco, now living in Harpenden, was given a conditional discharge on Friday after pleading guilty, meaning he could be re-sentenced if he commits a crime in the next 12 months.

He was ordered to repay the money in £50 monthly instalments as well as £150 costs to the prosecution.

Councillor John Graham said: “This is Hertsmere’s seventh successful prosecution for benefit fraud following investigations by the council’s Anti-Fraud Team since April 2009.

“We hope this sends out a clear message that Hertsmere has zero tolerance for benefit fraud and we will continue to use all our powers to recover money from those who try to cheat the system.”