A MAN who falsely claimed more than £8,000 of his dead father’s army pension was spared jail.

Andrew Burgess, of Nuffield Close, Didcot, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on Thursday after admitting one count of fraud by false representation between April 29, 2012, and June 12, 2013.

Prosecutor Michael Shaw said the 54-year-old failed to tell the Ministry of Defence’s contracted pension provider that his father Terrence Burgess had died on January 24, 2012.

Mr Shaw said Burgess called the pension provider on April 30 to ask it to change the details of the bank account the money was paid into.

He added that the defendant forged a GP’s signature on a letter sent to his father, asking him to state if he was still entitled to the pension, on April 11, 2013.

The prosecutor said a routine check later carried out by the pension provider discovered Burgess had falsely claimed £8,666 of his father’s pension.

Defence barrister Peter Du Feu said Burgess, who served in the army for nine-and-a-half years, moved in with his father to care for him when he became ill, spending £25,000 of his savings to keep the household running.

He added: “The last three years of his life, the defendant gave up everything to nurse his father, gave up his job, his home.”

Judge Peter Ross told him: “You succumbed to temptation. As so often, those who become embroiled in this sort of offending realise that it can’t stop without revealing their criminality.

“You know you shouldn’t have done it.

“I accept that you are ashamed but you did defraud the community.”

Burgess was handed a three-month prison sentence suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 180 hours’ unpaid work and was made subject to a six-month supervision requirement order.

The judge also made a compensation order of £600.