A FORMER magistrate — who has pleaded guilty to claiming £22,000 in expenses he was not entitled to — has been warned he could face jail.

Carlton Janson admitted two offences of obtaining property by deception and two of fraud regarding claims for loss of earnings and mileage to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Services The 69-year-old, of Bradford Park Drive, The Haulgh, has been warned he now faces a possible prison sentence after pleading guilty to four charges.

Janson committed the fraud between January, 2006 and October, 2011.

His barrister, Andrew Nuttall, asked for the case to be adjourned so a pre-sentence report could be compiled by the probation service.

Janson was remanded on unconditional bail for sentencing at Burnley Crown Court on February 18.

Judge Anthony Russell QC told him: "This is a case where all sentencing options, including custody, will be open to the court. It is a serious matter.

"When I have all the information before me I will take what I consider the appropriate decision".

Janson has been sitting at Bolton Magistrates’ Court since 2000.

But a spokesman from the Judicial Office said Janson has not sat as a magistrate since November, last year.

All magistrates sit in adult criminal courts as panels of three, mixed in gender, age and ethnicity whenever possible to bring a broad experience of life to the bench.

Each magistrate should sit for at least 26 half-days each year. They are unpaid, but can claim expenses and for loss of earnings.

Magistrates deal with more than 95 per cent of all criminal cases.

The Lord Chancellor appoints magistrates on the advice of local advisory committees. When applying to become a magistrate an application form must be filled in, references are taken up and at least one, usually two interviews are held before a decision is made.

Janson has sat on cases which have attracted media attention, most notably he was chairman of the bench for the case of Jake Preston, a benefit cheat who claimed he could not walk but was secretly filmed throwing his motorbike around while racing to victory in a British motocross championship competition.