A CADDIE who claimed thousands in disability benefits while carrying the bags of rich golfers at one of Scotland's top golf courses is facing jail.

Robert Lothian claimed incapacity benefits while working as a caddie earning £45 a round plus tips at Kingsbarns Golf Links, near St Andrews.

The course is one of the most highly rated in Scotland and is regularly included in lists of the world's top 100 courses.

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Lothian also claimed income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit over an eight-month period in 2011.

Along with Carnoustie and the St Andrews Old Course, Kingsbarns hosts the Dunhill Links Championship – which pairs celebrities with professionals.

Lothian, 49, of Cellardyke, Fife, had originally pled not guilty to three charges alleged to have been committed between April 6, 2010 and August 20, 2011.

Minutes before his trial he pled guilty to all three charges, amended to have taken place between January 2011 and August 2011.

A court source said: "He had originally been accused of taking over £10,000 in benefits. The actual sum taken is considerably less than that – but we are still talking about thousands of pounds taken illegally."

Sentencing was deferred until next month for background reports.