A STOCKTAKER fraudulently claimed almost £10,000 in benefits while he was working, a court heard.

Matthew Thomas, 39, started claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in April 2008 after he was made redundant, and was in receipt of housing and council tax benefit.

He continued to claim benefits totalling £9,712.96 after he took up a job in 2010, Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court was told on Friday.

Thomas, of Ebenezer Drive, Rogerstone, pleaded guilty to failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions of a change of circumstances that would have affected his JSA claim between April 25, 2010 and March 7, this year.

He admitted failing to notify Newport council of the same change for housing and council tax benefit between April 26, 2010 and March 9, 2012.

Thomas was reported to the authorities after the council received information he was working for Orridge and Co.

Thomas’ defence counsel said the father-of-one was sorry for what he had done.

He was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work, pay £100 court costs and repay the benefit at £10 a week.