Linda Nolan will face benefit fraud charges in Blackpool

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”.

“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.