Back in February, ex-Iron Maiden singer Paul Di’Anno pleaded guilty to benefit fraud. From 2002 to 2008, Di’Anno falsely collected £45,000 ($72,000) worth of U.K. government benefits by claiming he suffered nerve damage to his back that prevented him from working. However, the Department Of Work And Pensions (DWP) discovered that Di’Anno was still profiting from singing and touring (thanks to pictures and YouTube videos showing the singer on stage).
This past Friday (March 11), Di’Anno was sentenced to nine months of jail time. Jane Miller QC told the singer the following at his hearing at at Salisbury Crown Court:
“Your public persona is not relevant. Your greed has cost this country a lot of money. The claims were for a long time and for a large cost. It must be a custodial sentence. In 2002 you started claiming benefits when it was quite clear you were already working. It took many years to track you down, in 2007 you performed at 69 venues, in 2006 you performed 67 times. I do not accept you only got expenses. I give you credit for your guilty pleas and reduce the sentence from the guideline 12 months to that of nine months.”
Though he pleaded guilty, the former Iron Maiden singer said he made very little from touring, with all profit going towards lawyers, agents and child support. The singer previously spent time in jail for drug and gun charges back in 1991, which had prevented him from touring North America until last year. Now, it may be a while before he returns to any stage, let alone one in the U.S.
[via The Daily Mail]