||PAUL DI'ANNO FACING JAIL AFTER ADMITTING BENEFIT FRAUD
13th February 2011
Paul Di'Anno is facing jail after he pleaded guilty to benefit fraud in a court hearing on Friday.
The former Iron Maiden, Battlezone and Killers frontman was apparently shopped by an anonymous person/s for claiming benefits due to nerve damage in his back which prevented him from working but a video posted on YouTube showed him performing on stage during a live show.
Paul admitted in court to wrongfully claiming benefits of more than £45,000, including wrongful claims of income support of more than £10,000 between 2005 and 2008.
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Department of Work and Pensions investigators saw the 2006 YouTube video of him. He was eventually arrested last year at Heathrow and charged with fraud.
At Salisbury Crown Court on Friday he was told to prepare for a jail sentence after admitting eight counts of benefit fraud. Honorary Recorder Judge Andrew Barnett said: "You have got the sense and courage to plead guilty to these matters, but you have to understand that they are very serious.
"Although all sentence options will be open, you should prepare yourself for a prison sentence - and an immediate one at that."
The court heard that from 2002 to 2008 he claimed a range of incapacity benefit, housing benefit and council tax handouts, by stating he was to ill to work.
He claimed to be suffering from sciatica, which is nerve damage to the back and MetalTalk.net can state that this is absolutely true. These days, Paul can barely walk unaided and needs to be helped on and off stage when he does perform.
Judge Bartlett adjourned Friday's hearing until March 11th for a pre-sentence report to be compiled and granted Di'Anno bail. The Department for Work and Pensions criticised Paul for abusing his celebrity status.
A spokesman said: "Benefit fraud is a crime. This money is intended to provide valuable support to those most in need, not line the pockets of people already earning substantial amounts from their celebrity status.
"Our welfare reforms and new strategy to tackle benefit fraud will make the system less open to abuse."
We wish you well Paul and look forward to seeing you back on stage when all this is over.