Iron Maiden's Paul Di'Anno Pleads Guilty to Benefit Fraud, Faces Jail
The 52-year-old entertainer, born Paul Andrews, claimed to be suffering from sciatica--nerve damage to his back--which prevented him from performing. However, Di'Anno was still rocking out with a band according to investigators, who found a YouTube video of Di'Anno at a live show, where he was jumping around on stage.
Di'Anno left Iron Maiden in 1981 but that didn't stop him from performing with other bands or releasing solo records. Even though he was "suffering" from sciatica, the singer still served his fans some punk attitude at shows while simultaneously collecting incapacity, housing and council tax benefits between 2002 and 2008.
'The Soundhouse Tapes' creator sat in front of a judge yesterday (Feb. 11) and admitted to eight counts of benefit fraud as well as claiming more than $67,500 in benefits. Honorary Recorder Judge Andrew Barnett, the judge presiding over Di'Anno's case, informed the rocker he would definitely be seeing a jail cell soon. "You have got the sense and courage to plead guilty to these matters, but you have to understand that they are very serious," Barnett said. "Although all sentence options will be open, you should prepare yourself for a prison sentence - and an immediate one at that."
Di'Anno will be sentenced on March 11.