Black Lace star jailed for ben­e­fit fraud

The Daily Telegraph - - News -

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.

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