DJ ‘too ill’ to be in a crowd

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court

A benefit fraudster who worked as a DJ has been forced to face the music by a court.

Mark Woodruff claimed his illness made it impossible to be among crowds or strangers but he was well known on the music circuit.

Woodruff went under the stage name DJ Woody and specialised in MC’ing, rapping over records, at nightspots in Blackpool and the Fylde coast.

He illegally claimed almost £15,000 in benefits while working as a DJ and having two other jobs.

Woodruff, 28, of London Street, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to 11 offences of failing to notify a change in circumstances.

He was sentenced to eight weeks jail suspended for 18 months, put on a 20 weeks tagged curfew from 8pm to 6am and ordered to pay £85 costs plus £80 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Presiding magistrate, Nora Sopworth, told him: “You were very lucky today. You were very close to going down.”

Martine Connah, prosecuting, said Woodruff illegally claimed £14,880 in Disability Living Allowance (DLA), income support and incapacity, housing and council tax benefits between March 2007 and January last year.

Patrick Nelligan, defending, said: “He tried to better himself and better his family’s life by trying to work.

“He did not have the attention span to hold down the jobs at the two companies mentioned.

“He pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.”

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