Leeds & West Yorkshire

Black Lace's Dene Michael Betteridge jailed for benefit fraud

Dene Michael Betteridge
Image caption The Black Lace singer had carried on performing whilst claiming disability benefits

Black Lace singer Dene Michael Betteridge has been jailed for six months for falsely claiming almost £25,000 in benefits.

The 59-year-old, from Leeds, claimed he could not leave his home without assistance despite still performing.

His wife, Karen, 54, was given a 12-month community service order for falsely claiming £2,500 in carers allowance.

Both admitted benefit fraud offences at an earlier hearing.

'Vigorous activity'

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Angus MacDonald, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court Betteridge made a range of benefit claims between 2012 and 2014.

He said he had claimed he was not working, could not walk without crutches and needed a mobility scooter.

Mr MacDonald said: "Dene Betteridge was part of the pop or rock group Black Lace. He was lead singer and front man.

"This role involved vigorous physical activity. Despite that, over 18 months to two years, the defendant made fraudulent claims."

Judge Jacqueline Davies said the fraud had not been sophisticated but saw no need to suspend Betteridge's sentence.

She added: "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."

Betteridge joined the band, best known for the hit Agadoo, in 1986.

He also appeared on the BBC's The Voice in 2015.

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