A disgraced Carlisle city councillor who fraudulently claimed £3,500 in housing benefit has been sentenced.

He was fined and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Immediately after today's hearing he quit the council.

In a statement he says: "I feel it is in the best interests of the Council, the voting public, and the Labour Party that I resign my position with immediate effect."

He added that as soon as he was aware of the over-payment he repaid all the money.

Labour Castle ward councillor Barrie Osgood, 44, who won the seat in last year's May local elections, had denied acting dishonestly.

But he was convicted after a trial heard how he dishonestly filled out a claim form which failed to declare that he owned and rented out a house in Currock for more than £300 per month. That allowed him to claim housing benefit he was not entitled to for eleven months.

In Carlisle Magistrates' Court today, Osgood's defence lawyer Geoff Clapp said the defendant was full of remorse.

"He is extremely remorseful and devastated," said Mr Clapp. "He wishes to apologise - not only to the council, but also to the other councillors with whom he works."

After he was sentenced, Osgood asked for permission to address the court.

Barrie Osgood He said: "I want to apologise to the Crown, yourself, the magistrates, and the Department for Work and Pensions; and also to the Labour Party, the Labour group at Carlisle City Council and the constituents I represent; and also to my family. I am deeply sorry for what I have done."

During his trial, Osgood, of Lamb Street, Upperby, claimed that he had made an honest mistake and that he had not been thinking straight because he was suffering from anxiety and depression.

His claim was submitted in June, 2014 - almost a year before he became a councillor.

Prosecutor John Moran said that while filling out the form Osgood had three times lied about his financial circumstances, at no time disclosing that he owned a house in Buchannan Road, Currock, which he was renting out.

In response to a question about whether he or his partner had income which he had not declared, Osgood ticked the "No" box.

He gave an identical response to a question about whether he had savings or investments. He also denied having a mortgage - though he did in fact have one on the Buchannan Road house.

The form also included the question: "Do you own, or partly own, any other property, land or timeshare other than the home you live in?" Osgood left that question unanswered.

When challenged, he insisted that the inaccuracies on the form were honest mistakes.

"If I was going to deceive anyone I think I'd have done something a bit better than that," he said.

"It has been a pure and utter mistake."

A married father of two boys, who works as a mental health support worker, Osgood suffered a catalogue of problems in the months before he filled out the form, he said. In 2013, a dog he had owned for more than 18 years died, he suffered two family bereavements, and his wife was diagnosed with MS.

In 2014, he was admitted to the cardiac unit of Whitehaven's West Cumberland Hospital. He had to take time off work and was on medication for depression, he said.

"I was in a very dark place," he told magistrates.

In the trial prosecutor Andy Travis told him: "You lied because you knew you would not get benefit if you told the truth. You fraudulently embezzled £3,000 of rate payers' money."

As he delivered the verdict, chairman of the magistrates Michael Little told Osgood last week that it was not credible that his answers had been an "honest mistake" and nor was it credible that Osgood was unaware of his obligation to declare his full financial circumstances.

Osgood was given a 12 month community order and must pay costs of £770 and a £60 victim surcharge.