A BENEFITS cheat who claimed thousands of pounds in carers’ allowance while working as an insurance clerk told Swindon magistrates he hadn’t seen a penny.

As a 17-year-old, William Allmark agreed with his parents he would claim the allowance – after his father had had his application for the benefit turned down by the Department for Work and Pensions.

But Allmark, now 22, of Cranmore Avenue, said he had not received the cash. Instead, it was paid into his parents’ joint account.

Defending, Tony Nowogrodski said: “When he was 17, his mother was diagnosed as suffering from scoliosis. As a result of that he effectively starts caring for her.

“His father tried to claim for carers’ allowance. But with his father working, the claim was unsuccessful, so the family decided William Allmark, who was then 17, would have the claim in his name.

“As a 17-year-old he did what most sons do, didn’t read it and signed it.

“He didn’t receive any of the monies. From start to finish he hasn’t prospered one penny.”

After leaving school, he began work in the insurance industry – with his income making him ineligible for the carers’ allowance. “He should have gone to the department and said, ‘I’m in employment, how does that affect the carers’ allowance?’ He simply forgot about it,” said Mr Nowogrodski.

Allmark pleaded guilty to failing to notify the DWP of a change of circumstances between May 2015 and July 2018, resulting in him receiving more than £7,500 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Magistrates sentenced him to a 12 month community order. He must complete 100 hours’ unpaid work and pay £285 in costs and victim surcharge.