||PAUL DI'ANNO JAILED FOR NINE MONTHS
11th March 2011
Paul Di'Anno has been jailed for nine months after pleading guilty to falsely claiming £45,479 in incapacity benefit.
Paul will spend at least four and a half months behind bars before being eligible for conditional bail.
Di'Anno, 52, was last month found guilty of claiming money in a total of eight offences committed between 2002 and 2008 and was told at the time by the judge to expect a prison sentence. The popular press reported that he was found out when investigators saw video clips of him leaping around during stage shows, at a time when he'd said nerve damage meant he couldn't work.
MetalTalk.net can confirm however, that Paul does indeed suffer from sciatica and walks with the aid of a stick due to an ongoing knee problem.
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At Salisbury Crown Court Steven Ritter, mitigating, said: "He was obsessed with music and performing. He is very naive in terms of business matters and has no formal education.
"He suffered severe injury when he jumped off stage as part of his act in 1998 but carried on performing with agents promising him next month would provide the next big drift of money he was looking for.
"He sought the money he was owed but lawyers and agents would take it, he got very little from all his touring.
"He has lost a fortune several times, his last £40,000 dollars was given to a previous girlfriend in America.
"He wanted a comeback but he realised it was not like coming back and being Frank Sinatra.
"He had credibility, a loyal fan base across the world but it was a muddled state as to what he owned.
"He has fallen into a pit of mayhem and has lost practically everything. He does not care what happens to him, only his wife and children."
Passing sentence, Jane Miller QC said: "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 twelve months to that of nine months."
Paul, who previously served time in a US jail for arms and drug offences, made no comment as he was sentenced. A confiscation hearing will be held on June 4 to establish how he'll repay the money he took.