A BENEFIT cheat failed to disclose he had inherited more than £16,000 from his step mother’s will, Runcorn Magistrates Court has heard.

Mark Heymans, aged 44, of Coronation Drive, Widnes, admitted failing to notify a change in his circumstances which affected his entitlement to housing and council tax benefit.

Magistrates gave him a two year conditional discharge on January 30 and ordered him to pay £150 costs and repay £1,480 in overpaid benefit.

Heymans had been claiming benefit for himself and his wife.

His job seekers allowance ceased when he applied for employment and support allowance.

He declared that the couple’s only income was child benefit and child tax credits.

In April, 2011, Halton Council’s benefit investigation section was called in after it was discovered that Haymans had inherited capital in excess of £16,000.

A month later, Heymans’ wife told the council her husband had moved out and she did not know where he was living.

In July, during an interview, Heymans admitted inheriting more than £16,000 from the estate of his step mother in March, 2011.

His bank statements confirmed the money had been deposited into his account in February and that cash had been withdrawn in large amounts.