Lancashire

Blackpool male stripper Mark Hetherington was 'too sick for work'

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Media captionMark Hetherington claimed he could not get out of bed unaided.

A man who claimed he could not get out of bed without help performed as a male stripper, a court was told.

Mark Hetherington, from Blackpool, was given a 12-month community order after admitting falsely claiming more than £5,000 Disability Living Allowance.

Hetherington, 51, of Woolman Road, was ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work and pay £85 costs and £60 victim surcharge.

Blackpool Magistrates heard Hetherington performed under the name Ian Kognito while claiming benefits.

Hetherington pleaded guilty to claiming £5,018.80 worth of DLA between May 2012 and August 2014.

He took off his clothes for cash as a "boylesque" dancer, despite telling the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) his anxiety left him unable to cook or leave the house.

Among his routines was one dressed as Batman and another as a Ninja fighter.

A DWP spokeswoman said: "Only a small minority of benefit claimants are dishonest, but cases like this show how we are rooting out the unscrupulous minority who are cheating the system and diverting taxpayers' money from those who really need it."

Image copyright Anstu Media
Image caption Mark Hetherington admitted benefit fraud

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