Linda Nolan will face benefit fraud charges in Blackpool
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Linda Nolan will face benefit fraud charges in Blackpool

FORMER singing star Linda Nolan has spoken of her shame at being accused of benefit fraud.

The Dublin born singer – one fifth of The Nolan Sisters girl group, which was popular in Britain and Ireland in the 1970 and 80s – will be in court later this month to face the charges.

“I’ve been an idiot, call me ignorant, call me stupid, but please don’t call me dishonest,” the 56-year-old said in an interview published in yesterday’s Sunday Mirror.

Nolan, who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2014, is being prosecuted by the Department for Work and Pensions for £12,000 in overpaid benefits - despite the fact that the Dubliner is already paying back the money.

The figure relates to the former singer’s earnings from occasional television appearances and from writing a column in a national newspaper between April 2012 and December 2013, which she failed to declare while receiving housing benefit, council tax relief and a disability allowance, as she didn’t see them as a “change of circumstances”.

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“I’m not a benefits scrounger,” she said.

“I’ve made a simple mistake and I am devastated about it.”

She added: “I’ve already started to pay it back and I will pay it back in full.”

Nolan has been charged with benefit fraud and will appear at Blackpool magistrates’ court later this month.