AN ABERPORTH man claimed over £6,000 in benefits despite working as a scaffolder, a court has heard.
Timothy James Bowling, of 3 Clos y Fferm, pleaded guilty to dishonestly failing to notify the authorities of a change in circumstances which would affect his benefit between April 2014 and September 2015 when he received just over £6,250 in Employment Support Allowance.
Prosecutor Helen Tench said investigators found that Bowling had been working for a scaffolding firm, but had not told authorities that he was in work and continued to claim ESA.
In an interview, Bowling, 41, said he had started working part-time at the company but hadn’t declared it to the authorities, despite knowing that the work would affect his benefits.
Defence solicitor Alan Lewis said Bowling had fully cooperated with authorities and said that while initially he had only been carrying out part-time work, the number of hours he was working had increased because the company were pleased with how Bowling was doing.
But Mr Lewis said Bowling had been struggling with severe debt and had thought he could clear the debts using the benefit payments.
Mr Lewis said: “He buried his head in the sand. He used it to fend off the hounds that were coming at him in terms of his debt.”
He said Bowling realised he was wrong and accepted he should not have kept the information from the authorities, but said that he had been desperate.
Mr Lewis said Bowling was repaying the money he had received and that he had since sought help and was addressing his debt issues.
Bowling was given a community order for 12 months and will have to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay costs of £170.