A would-be Tory candidate denied attempting to represent Enfield Borough Council after he was convicted of fleecing the authority out of £30,000.

Jefferson Michael Fadaka, 33, was handed a suspended jail sentence in 2011 for pocketing housing benefits and income support while studying for a law degree.

Mr Fadaka is accused of declaring he had no previous convictions when he applied to represent Enfield Lock ward on his nomination forms.

The Conservative Party only realised his previous convictions after declaring him an official candidate for 2014 elections, Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court heard today.

Mr Fadaka was convicted of 11 counts for fraud in June 2011 and sentenced to an 11-month suspended sentence.

Prosecutor Zoe Martin said: "The fact he was convicted disqualified him from standing for election and it is the prosecution's case that he thereby made a false statement in his election forms."

Mr Fadaka, of Bedale Road, Enfield, denied one count of making false statements in nomination papers.

He was bailed to attend Wood Green Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on July 22.

Ms Martin said: "On October 13 the defendant contacted a John Hammersmith - the Conservative campaign manager for Enfield North Conservatives.

"Mr Hammersmith met with the defendant and went through the application process in order for him to become a Conservative candidate and he fully explained the nomination process."

On October 24, Mr Fadaka received an email containing documents to register as a Conservative candidate, including a form declaring that he had no criminal convictions.

Candidates are suspended from running in local elections if they have a custodial sentence of three months or more under the Local Government Act 1972.

Ms Martin added: "On April 11 the defendant sent the relevant nomination forms, including a declaration that he was not disqualified under the Local Government Act.

"On April 14, Mr Hammersmith submitted the defendant's nomination papers to the electoral register officer... the registrant was declared an official candidate.

"At the time the defendant became a candidate it was discovered that Enfield Council had, in fact, prosecuted him for benefit fraud and indeed he had been convicted at Wood Green Crown Court."

District Judge Claire Pithie said: "I am actually going to decline jurisdiction given the number of previous convictions... there is a possibility this will attract more than six-month sentence."