A CALDICOT benefit cheat wrongly claimed thousands of pounds of government handouts while working.

Single mum Amy Lyons, 31, of Oakley Way. said her income was £500 a month but a probe revealed that it had more than doubled to reach £1.190 at one point, Cwmbran Magistrates' Court heard.

The housing benefit over-payment totaled £4,039 and one for council tax amounted to £540.

Lyons pleaded guilty to eight counts of failing to notify a change of circumstances between June 2010 and 2013.

Prosecutor loan Gealy said that she had started to repay the benefits but still had to clear £3,908.

Mr Gealy told the court: "The more you earn, the less the state will pay out.

"She was unlawfully enriching herself by accepting wages and also accepting benefits from the state. At the end of the day the taxpayer, the normal man in the street loses out when others take more than they are entitled to."

Mr Gealy told the court that she earned £1.196 in October 2012 and her income remained ''consistently high" for three years.

Lyons told the court that she had acknowledged what she had done, adding that she had pleaded guilty to the offences and was prepared to pay back the money owed.

Mr Gealy acknowledged that she had made repayments but stressed that that did not take away the fact she had committed crimes.

Magistrate Keith Minton fined Lyons £220, ordered her to pay £200 costs and a £22 surcharge.