A BENEFITS cheat got more than £2,000 he was not entitled to because he was working as a barman in a Burnley pub, the town’s magistrates heard.

Thomas Johnson, 22, was caught out after he was seen behind the bar at the Talbot and inquiries proved he had been working there about a year. He admitted he had not declared he was working, and said he had no excuse other than he had been struggling for money.

The court was told he got £2,717.48 he shouldn’t have. Johnson was now said to be paying back the money he had taken from the public purse.

Johnson, of Old Hall Street, Burnley, had admitted six allegations of dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances - three involving Jobseeker’s Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions, between April and July 2013, November 2012 and January last year and between June and September 2012, and three involving Burnley Council and housing and council tax benefits, two between July 2012 and last January, and one count between April and August 2013.

He was given a community order, with 80 hours unpaid work, and must pay a £60 victim surcharge, and £85 costs.