A MENTAL health nurse defrauded a healthcare recruitment company out of more than £7,000 by making false claims about the number of hours he had worked.
Ian McPhee carried out the deception over a five-month period before he was eventually caught, a court heard.
McPhee, 51, was given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to one offence of fraud.
Andrew Semple, prosecuting, said the offences occurred between March and August last year when McPhee worked for Leeds-based ProCare Recruitment
The father-of-five was placed at a mental hospital in the Bradford area and had responsibility for filling time sheets upon completing his duties.
McPhee then sent the forms to his supervisor who would then invoice the hospital for payment.
The deception came to light when the hospital disputed the number of hours McPhee claimed he had worked.
Investigations found signatures on the forms did not belong to anyone who worked at the hospital and must have been completed by McPhee.
Police were informed and McPhee, of Bawhead Road, Barnoldswick, Lancashire, admitted the deception.
Michael Miller, mitigating, said his client had admitted to behaving dishonestly at an early opportunity.
He said the offending took place during a time when his partner had become ill and he was in desperate need of money to support his family.
Mr Miller said McPhee was no longer working ,was claiming benefits and had struggled with alcohol problems
He added that his client was making efforts to repay the money he had defrauded.
He was given a 36-week sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work.
Recorder Paul Isaacs said: “Mr McPhee this cannot go on. You cannot, when faced with a shortage of money, behave dishonestly in order to get it.”