Drag queen and disability fraud jailed after police catch him dancing on YouTube

Half of popular drag queen duo Glitter Lips has been jailed after admitting to wrongly claiming nearly £100k in benefits

Drag queen and disability fraud jailed after police catch him dancing on YouTube
22 August 2013

Drag queen jailed after committing benefit fraud worth £88,000

One half of popular drag queen duo Glitter Lips has been jailed after admitting to wrongly claiming £88,000 in benefits

A drag queen is facing six months in jail after wrongly claiming nearly £100k in disability benefit.

Mark Hawthorn, 49, also known as Tilly – one half of the comedy drag duo Glitter Lips – committed five counts of benefit fraud between November 2003 and March 2012.

Sentencing him at Staffordshire Crown Court, Judge Michael Challinor said: ‘You should have confined your acting ability to female impersonation rather than defrauding the state.’

Prosecutors for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said an anonymous tip-off prompted its investigation into Hawthorn’s ‘systematic fraud’ of the benefits system.

Hawthorn claimed he suffered from a number of health problems which meant he needed help ‘night and day.’

He said he could barely walk 50 yards but the DWP uncovered YouTube footage of the performer dancing to hits by Diana Ross and Tina Turner.

Speaking to Gay Star News, Sian Fellowes, senior fraud manager at the DWP, said: ‘Benefit thieves are costing the taxpayer £1billion per year.

‘Disability living allowance is intended to help people who have severe difficulties with their care and mobility, and it is clear in this case no such difficulties existed.

‘We will continue to investigate allegations of benefit fraud very rigorously and bring people who abuse the benefit system to justice.’

Prosecutor for the Department of Work and Pensions, Trevor Meegan, said Mark Hawthorn ‘had failed to declare his status as a self-employed drag artiste.’

‘This was a flagrant and systematic fraud, claimed over a long period of time and of high value’ Meegan added.

Hawthorn fully admitted wrongdoing when confronted with the facts of the case and pleaded guilty.

The court heard Hawthorn claimed disability living allowance, council tax benefit, housing benefit and income support.

Hawthorn also failed to pay national insurance contributions or income tax from his earnings as Glitter Lips.

The 49-year-old has performed as Tilly on and off for 25 years.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Mom begs the public for her dead gay son's final moments

A man from Derry, Northern Ireland, has been found dead in his home shortly after being attacked
No thumbnail available

Ricky Martin talks about gay marriage debate

'I wish people understood that love manifests in different ways'
No thumbnail available

Aussie teen actress thanks lesbian mums in awards speech

16 year-old actress Brenna Harding has thanked her lesbian mums in a teary speech after winning the Most Popular New Female Talent award at Australia’s annual Logies television awards
No thumbnail available

Virginia attorney general faces impeachment call for supporting marriage equality

'Mr. Herring has put his own political and personal views ahead of his duties and responsibilities as Attorney General'
No thumbnail available

NZ Anti-gay marriage group says gay couples should not be allowed to adopt

'The two most loving and capable women in the world simply cannot provide a daddy - and two men cannot provide a mum,' Family First NZ says
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Bob Witeck: ‘American Airlines helped other brands to come out of the corporate closet’

The President and Founder of Witeck Communications reflects on a key moment in corporate America’s evolution regarding the public endorsement of LGBT issues
No thumbnail available

Arnold Schwarzenegger is 'furious' over Indiana's anti-gay law

The Terminator star calls fellow Republicans 'out of touch' and 'choosing a politics of division'
No thumbnail available

Lesbian found guilty for faking anti-gay hate crime

Nebraska woman who claimed three masked men carved anti-gay slurs into her stomach and arms says she's innocent
No thumbnail available

LGBT parents to the rescue

Who will adopt the millions of orphans worldwide who are already here, not perfect, and need us? Could lesbian and gay parents be the answer?