Derry Sinn Fein councillor ‘strenuously’ denies allegations of benefit fraud

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A local Sinn Fein councillor ‘strenuously’ denies allegations of benefit fraud, a court has heard.

Colin Kelly, of Kildrum Gardens, is accused of failing to declare a change of circumstances and making a false declaration to obtain benefit.

It is alleged that the 30-year-old claimed Job Seekers Allowance and Housing Benefit while he was working as a Sinn Fein councillor.

The offences were allegedly committed between November 2010 and March 2014.

The councillor was not present for a brief hearing at the local magistrates court.

However, defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said the allegations against Kelly would be ‘strenuously contested’.

Mr MacDermott said the defence intended to call evidence to show Kelly ‘did not do anything illegal’.

The case was adjourned and a date for contest will be fixed on June 18.