Nolan sister’s Family Fortunes case dropped

Linda Nolan.

Linda Nolan.

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TV and stage star Linda Nolan is expected to escape with a caution after being accused of being a benefits cheat.

The 56-year-old was due to stand in the dock today at Blackpool Magistrates charged with a fraud case involving around £4,000.

But The Gazette understands the former singer has been formally offered the chance by Blackpool Council, which brought the case, to accept an official caution prior to the hearing taking place.

Linda - who was charged under her married name of Hudson - said: ”I was dreading appearing in court - a ton weight has been taken from my shoulders.

“I am not a scrounger I just made a mistake.

“I forgot to mention some money I got for appearing on Family Fortunes that was my mistake.”

“When I got the letter saying I had to appear at court I was shattered – I felt I wanted to be with my dead husband and sister.

“I have been under tremendous personal pressure and facing embarrassment and shame.”

Linda, from Park Road, Blackpool, was originally charged with fraud involving £12,000 of benefits in cases brought by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Blackpool Council.

The DWP dropped charges involving £8,000 in May citing it was no longer in the public interest to prosecute Linda, who it accepted had suffered illness following the deaths of her husband Brian, sister Bernie and mother Maureen.

But Blackpool Council continued with its legal action over housing and council tax benefit, claiming she did not reveal a change in her circumstances namely income from writing an agony column and a fee from appearing on TV quiz show Family Fortunes.

There have been two court hearings of her case in her absence but magistrates had ordered her to appear on Wednesday to face the music.

That will no longer happen.

Blackpool Council confirmed it had offered an official caution.

Linda underwent three separate interviews under caution by benefit fraud investigators.

She is already repaying the £4,000 involved.

Linda started to claim benefits in a legitimate manner following the death of her husband and manager Brian.