A BENEFIT cheat who falsely claimed more than £4,000 in Job Seekers’ Allowance has appeared in court.

Peter Green, 36, of Wakefield Road, Denby Dale, admitted failing to inform Kirklees council that he had started full time work in March 2009 and continued to claim benefits to which he was not entitled.

Prosecutor Malcolm Parkinson told Huddersfield Magistrates Court yesterday: “In December 2008 Mr Green completed a means form and applied for Job Seekers’ Allowance and Child Benefit. The form states that the applicant must inform the authority of any changes in circumstances which may affect their benefits.

“He also signed a fortnightly declaration saying he was not carrying out paid or unpaid work.

“That declaration was false and he knew it to be false from when he commenced working in March 2009.”

He told the court further investigations revealed Parkinson had been in receipt of wages to his Lloyds bank statement and as a direct result had been allocated payments for 57 weeks and four days totalling £4,220.04 to which he was not entitled.

Defending Marnat Ali said: “The claim was legitimate initially but became dishonest when he commenced employment.

“This man had a considerable amount of debt.

“His claim was continued in order to keep the wolves from the door.

“He had debt collectors hounding him for money but accept that he made a foolish mistake.

“His actions were carried out with the threat of losing his home and his utilities being switched off. He knew this dishonesty would come back to haunt him.”

Magistrates issued Green a community order for 12 months and 80 hours unpaid work in the community.