18 Feb 2014

Pop singer turned benefit thief

A singer for eighties pop band Bronski Beat narrowly avoided prison after fiddling more than £30,000 in a benefit fraud scam.

Kevin Glancy, 45, who worked as a session singer for numerous bands, including the Communards, was found guilty of three counts of producing false statements to obtain benefits at Grimsby Crown Court.

He arrived at court carrying a case of belongings under the assumption he would be jailed, but was instead given a one-year suspended sentence.

When questioned, Glancy denied suggestions that he had made a fortune from working with 80s band Bronski Beat, which had a top three hit with Smalltown Boy in 1984.

Glancy's fraud offences involved claiming housing benefit for rent payments on his home in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, despite the fact he actually owned it himself.

The offences took place between June 2006 and September last year, the court heard, with the total sum he claimed reaching £30,461.

His fraud was discovered when checks with the land registry revealed that he was the owner of the house he was claiming housing benefit on, and that he was not a tenant.

Micheal Grey, mitigating,said Glancy had suffered many health problems over the years that led to him receiving disability allowance, including a serious back injury in 2001 which needed surgery.

Mr Grey said:
He has not led an extravagant life since the beginning of this claim His ex-wife has run up huge debts. It was a very dark period in his life, with debt surrounding him. He has struggled through very turbulent times.
Mr Grey claimed that Glancy still received letters from creditors.

Glancy and his wife ran a TV production company, where he edited and produced videos for different companies.

After the hearing at Grimsby Crown Court, Glancy said although he had admitted to benefit fraud, he believed that figures used in court by North Lincolnshire Council were misleading, because he would have been entitled to claim some benefit.

He said:
I don’t think it’s a case of being a benefit cheat. It’s a case of filling in the forms and doing it in the wrong way. My criminal ways are behind me. Doing the wrong thing doesn’t get you anywhere. You can’t beat the system. I went in to court with the attitude that I had done wrong and was prepared for my punishment.
Glancy has had previous convictions, including obtaining property by deception in 1992, for which he received a nine-month suspended sentence for the crime involving a cheque and a sum of around £7,000.

Another conviction earned him the sentence of a probation order at Glasgow Sheriff's court when he applied for an overdraft without disclosing that he was near bankruptcy.

Bronski Beat had many hits during the 1980s, including It Ain’t Necessarily So and a version of I Feel Love. They formed in 1983, focusing on a unique brand of British synth-pop, performing songs that reflected the openly gay lifestyle that all band members had. The band was fronted by Jimmy Somerville, and Glancy worked with him as a sessions singer for both Bronski Beat and The Communards, both of which featured Somerville as a lead singer. Bronski Beat released three studio albums before their separation in 1995; 'Age of Consent', 'It Ain't Necessarily So', and 'Rainbow Nation' released in 1995 after Somerville had left the band to form The Communards.

While Glancy worked as a session singer for the bands that Somerville fronted, he was never officially a member of either one.

No comments: