A glamourous benefits cheat claimed thousands in incapacity benefit while working as — A LAP DANCING STRIPPER.
Pretty Carrie-Ann Knight, 29, raked in more than £10,000 by falsely claiming incapacity benefit as well as other supplements for her rent and council tax.
Blonde Knight was yesterday fined a total of £535 after she admitted claiming benefits while working as an exotic dancer in a lap dancing club.
Magistrates in Yeovil, Somerset, heard former bakery shop worker Knight was signed off with depression by her doctor in 2006 after work dried up and she ran into financial problems.
But the amateur glamour model then landed a job as an exotic dancer at Tiffany’s Bar in Exeter’s Quayside in June 2007.
Knight – who claimed to be embarrassed by her new job – continued to claim benefits for a year before she was rumbled by an eagle-eyed benefits assessor who recognised her name.
He realised she had the same name as a locally well-known topless model and lap dancer referred the case to the council’s investigations team and, in turn, the Department of Work and Pensions in 2008.
Dervla Nash, prosecuting, told the court Knight had claimed incapacity benefit, housing benefit and council tax benefit totalling £10.882 before her arrest.
She added that all but £1,608 had now been paid back.
Simon Lacey, defending Knight, said his client mistakenly believed she could work up to 16 hours a week and still claim benefits.
He said she had tried to inform the authorities of her error by filling in forms saying she was ”self-employed” – but that this was not picked up upon.
Magistrates fined Knight a total of £535 and told her: ”We consider this matter to be very serious as it represents taking money from taxpayers.
”But we have noted that you did not start out with any intention to defraud. You have also paid back a substantial proportion of the payments, which we consider shows remorse.”
Speaking after the sentencing Knight said she no longer worked at the lap dancing bar – which closed down last year.
She said: ”I am relieved this is over because it has been going on for such along time.
”I have moved away from the area and am moving on with my life.”