A Ruthin man failed to disclose that he had more than £70,000 in a bank account.

Clwyd Williams claimed housing benefit on the basis of low income and disability with no money or savings. But it emerged that he had £71,376 in the bank, a court heard.

Williams, aged 60, of Pentre Cottage, Pentre Coch, near Ruthin, admitted failing to declare a change in circumstances to Denbighshire County Council between May 2013 and January this year.

Flintshire Magistrates’ Court was told that he had been overpaid £14,300 from the public purse.

He was placed on a 12-month community order and ordered to remain indoors for the next four months between 7pm and 7am on a tagged curfew.

Williams must pay £85 costs and an £85 surcharge.

The court was told that arrangements had been made for him to repay the authority and he had already paid nearly £6,000.

Magistrates’ heard that the defendant had been suffering from depression and had not wanted anything to do with the money, the proceeds of the family home sale after his marriage ended.

It had been his intention to give it to his children as and when they wanted it.

His claim had been legitimate to start with.

Phillip Lloyd-Jones, defending, said that his client was a man of no previous convictions.

Sadly, his marriage broke down. He discovered that his wife was seeing another person. As a result of the divorce the house was sold and he received a substantial sum of money. It was his understanding that he was to provide it to his children, but he now appreciated that he should have set up a trust in their favour or simply given it to them.

By retaining it in his own bank account, it was money he should have disclosed.

Money had been given to the children and the sum had dropped considerably.

He was living on benefits and was somewhat destitute. It was a high figure of tax payers’ money which he had been overpaid, but substantial money had been paid back.

Mr Jones said that his client would “like to turn the clock back”.

He had a chronic heart condition and was not a particularly well man.

The defendant was not someone who would be able to survive in the prison environment, he said.