A fisherman from Mylor who failed to pay £61,000 in tax and National Insurance contributions on self-employed earnings has been given a suspended prison sentence.

David Truscott, 44, of Meadowbank, was caught by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after they reviewed the share fisherman’s tax records.

A fishing-boat owner’s annual tax records showed that Truscott had crewed for them and recorded his pay as a share fisherman. However Truscott failed to declare this income of over £200,000 to HMRC, and did not submit any self assessment tax returns for 2009 to 2012, owing £61,197 in Income Tax |and National Insurance Contributions.

Truscott pleaded guilty at Truro Crown Court on Friday and was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. He must also pay costs of £500 and do 200 hours of unpaid work. HMRC will recover the money through civil processes.

Colin Spinks, HMRC assistant director of criminal investigation, said: “Truscott stole £61,000 from public finances and would probably have continued his fraud had HMRC officers not stopped him. We ask anyone with information about this type of crime to contact the tax fraud hotline on 0800 788 887.”