A BENEFITS fraudster who swindled the taxpayer out of £30,000 had £40,000 saved up in the bank.

Patrick Kertin, 67, formerly of Caerphilly, falsely claimed Employment and Support Allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit.

Prosecutor Tom Roberts said the defendant received £30,461.67 over five years between 2011 and 2016 when he had significant savings in different bank accounts.

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He failed to notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Caerphilly council as he was living in Rhymney at the time of his offending.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how an arrest warrant issued for Kertin when he failed to appear before magistrates three years ago had only recently been executed.


Mr Robers said the defendant had saved up more than £40,000 at one point.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to notify of a change of circumstances.”

Stephen Thomas, representing Kertin, said: “It is unfortunate there has been such a delay in this case.

“He made full and frank admissions on April 15, 2016.

“The defendant understands the seriousness of his offending. He made very poor decisions.

“It is agreed there was a level of planning but it was in no way sophisticated.”

Mr Thomas added: “He is 67 years old with no previous convictions of any kind recorded against him and there is a very low risk of reoffending.

“The defendant is in very poor physical health. He has heart and mobility problems.”

Mr Roberts said there was no record of Kertin repaying any of the funds he received but Mr Thomas said his client was "adamant" he made two payments of £1,000 and £2,000.

The court was told the defendant he receives £780 a fortnight in benefits.

The judge, Recorder Patrick Upward QC, told him: “You made a silly decision when you didn't respond to the letters from the DWP and you have caused an awful lot of trouble since.”

Kertin, now of Ely Road, Cardiff, was jailed for three months, suspended for 12 months.