Judge tells ex Iron Maiden frontman Paul to expect custodial sentence after admitting false incapacity claims totalling more than £45,000

Paul Di'Anno

Purgatory: Di'Anno expects to be jailed

Former Iron Maiden frontman Paul Di’Anno is facing a prison sentence after admitting to fraudulent benefit claims of over £45,000.

The singer was told by Salisbury Crown Court to expect a custodial sentence for eight offences committed between 2005 and 2008, when he told authorities nerve damage to his back meant it was impossible for him to work.

He then claimed income support of over £10,000 plus incapacity benefit, housing benefit and council tax relief. But last year Department of Work and Pensions investigators were tipped off and discovered video footage of Di’Anno live shows from 2006. He was arrested at Heathrow Airport last autumn.

Di’Anno, real name Paul Andrews, who fronted Maiden during their rise to fame and appeared on their first two albums, attended court today walking with a stick.

He was told by judge Andrew Barnett: “You have the sense and courage to plead guilty to these matters, but you have to understand they are very serious.

“Although all sentence options will be open, you should prepare yourself for a prison sentence, and an immediate one at that.”

A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions says: “Benefit fraud is a crime. The money is intended to support those most in need, not line the pockets of people already earning substantial amounts from their celebrity status.”

Di’Anno offered no comment as he left the court. He’ll be sentenced on March 11. In the meantime he’s planning a four-date tour of Norway at the end of February.

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