A MAN has been jailed for eight months for defrauding the Ministry of Defence of almost £30,000 - because it would take almost a decade to repay it.

Kenneth Maltman previously pleaded guilty to falsely claiming overtime in an elaborate fraud worth almost £29,500 over a period of 14 months.

Maltman, formerly of James Street in Helensburgh, pleaded guilty last month to the crime, carried out between April 1, 2013 and June 3, 2014, at the General Services Building at HM Naval Base Clyde.

Defence solicitor Roddy Boag told the court last week Maltman could offer £5,000 towards repayment and then £250 a month, but acknowledged "that takes years to repay".

It would take more than eight years to pay back the full amount, Mr Boag told the court, and Maltman would then have to be punished – far beyond the length of time cases should be dealt with.

Mr Boag said there was "poor decision making", both in the commission of the crime and in using the money as well.

He said: "It started through a period of personal pressure. There was a period of addiction, which is behind him.

"He has sought to put into position an alternative [to custody] that would involve a substantial sacrifice."

Sheriff Simon Pender told Maltman, now of Colquhoun Road, Milton, Dumbarton: "This clearly involved significant planning. Only a custodial sentence is appropriate.

"The MoD will have to avail themselves of any civil remedies."

At the previous hearing, the court was told Maltman pretended to employees of Defence Business Services, Cheadle Hulme, that he had worked overtime during the period in question and was entitled to payment.

But the truth was that Maltman had not worked the overtime he claimed, and instead induced the Ministry of Defence to pay him a total of £29,497, which he obtained by fraud.

The case had originally been prosecuted on an indictment, which could have carried a jail term of up to five years, but the Crown decided to reduce the case, limiting a maximum sentence to one year in jail.

The case comes just a few months after another Faslane worker admitted defrauding the MoD.

Matthew Cassidy, 25, was spared prison after he pleaded guilty to obtaining £19,000 by fraud between August 2014 and February 2016 by submitting false expense claims for training courses.

Following Maltman's guilty plea last month, an MoD spokeswoman told the Advertiser: “We expect our staff to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and integrity and any abuse of the system will result in disciplinary action or criminal proceedings.”