A FORMER warehouse administrator who forged more than a dozen doctors' and physio notes to obtain benefits has been spared jail.

Father-of-one Karamin Ali confessed that he had paid someone £20 a time to provide the bogus correspondence, Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

And when Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) officials required him to attend an interview, over the claims, he provided a fresh forged letter, the court was told.

An investigation revealed that between May 2016 and December 2018 Ali had walked away with personal independence payments totalling £12,451.

But Ali was given a suspended prison sentence after a judge heard how the Iraqi national had witnessed the killings of several close relatives and was the only provider for his young family. He was also making repayments to the DWP.

Ali, of Derby Street, Failsworth, who had pleaded guilty to fraud offences, was given a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Judge Maurice Greene also ordered him to complete 16 days of rehabilitation activities and 120 hours community service.

The judge noted that the defendant had no previous convictions and had made efforts, since the offences came to light, to undertake plumbing and gas engineering courses, with a view to securing employment.

Judge Greene added: "There is, in my view, a realistic chance of rehabilitation, as you are already making reparations."

James Preece, prosecuting, said the forged letters, which concerned the Failsworth Group Practice, appeared to be genuine.

But on close inspection a number of grammatical and spelling errors had led to suspicions being raised, the court was told.

David Temkin, defending, said his client had arrived in the UK as a refugee from Iraq and had secured office work in a warehouse.

But the defendant had suffered serious problems with his back, which had forced him to quit work, leaving his family in a desperate situation, the court heard.

Mr Temkin said his client saw his sister killed in Iraq,. when he was aged just six, and while there had been no official diagnosis, the possibility of him suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder may need to be explored.