Mark Hawthorn

Mark Hawthorn
Photo via Daily Telegraph

Mark Hawthorn, a male cross dresser, was convicted of five counts of benefit fraud after falsely claiming £88,000 in benefits including disability living allowance, council tax benefit and housing benefit for almost a decade.

Hawthorn, aged 49, was sentenced to six months in prison at  Stafford Crown Court in 2013, decreased from a possible 18 months, taking into account his troubled early life and his mental health issues.

While working as a drag queen Hawthorn also claimed and received income support after fraudulently claiming he was unfit for work between March 2009 and August 2012.

Sentencing, the judge said “While you were claiming you appeared on stage as a female impersonator. Regularly wearing high heels in an act that was often energetic. All the while you also paid no tax or National Insurance.

“Your offending was truly breathtaking. You should have confined your acting to female impersonations rather than pretending to be ill.” “I do not accept that you will be overly harmed by a period in prison and your condition is one that can be adequately monitored in prison, the sentence must be both a punishment and a deterrent.”

After his release Hawthorn boasted “What makes me laugh most of all is that I managed to get my name in The Guardian. You couldn’t buy this f****** advertising.”

Media reports

The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/22/drag-queen-benefit-fraud

Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2399960/Drag-queen-Mark-Hawthorn-jailed-falsely-claiming-88-000-benefits-performing-woman-called-Tilly.html

Daily Mirror http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/drag-queen-benefit-cheat-mark-2851987

Daily Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10259712/Glitter-Lips-drag-queen-jailed-for-benefit-fraud.html