Black Lace star jailed for benefit fraud
THE singer from pop group Black Lace has been jailed for six months for claiming nearly £25,000 in benefits saying he could not walk despite performing “vigorous” dance moves on stage.
Dene Michael, who appeared at Leeds Crown Court under his real name Dene Michael Betteridge, told the Department of Work and Pensions that he was unable to walk unaided and was effectively housebound.
He made a number of claims over a two-year period while playing a “vigorous” role in front of audiences with Black Lace, known for their hit Agadoo.
Angus MacDonald, prosecuting, told the court that Betteridge, 59, made claims for employment support allowance, housing benefit and council tax and disability living allowance. His wife, Karen, 52, was also sentenced for benefit fraud after claiming more than £2,000 in carer’s allowance.
Sentencing the couple, who are both from Leeds, Judge Jacqueline Davies said: “You were claiming a sum that was not insignificant at a time when we all know this country was, and indeed still is, undergoing times of stress as far as publicly funded benefits are concerned.”
Judge Davies sentenced Karen Betteridge to a 12month community order and told her she would have to perform 100 hours of unpaid work.