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PJ Proby bailed on benefit charges

Pop star PJ Proby has made a brief appearance before a Crown Court judge charged with cheating the benefits system out of more than £47,000.

The Houston-born singer had been due to enter pleas to nine charges relating to claims for pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit, during the hearing at Worcester Crown Court.

But the proceedings were adjourned for a month after Proby's barrister, David Gottlieb, asked for more time to prepare for the case.

Proby, of Twyford, near Evesham, Worcestershire, spoke only twice during the five-minute hearing and was granted unconditional bail to reappear at the same court on May 31.

The 72-year-old, whose real name is James Marcus Smith, is alleged to have committed the offences between November 2002 and March 2008.

Among the charges against the 1960s star are two counts of failing to declare income from savings and investments, and four of failing to notify the authorities of a change in circumstances.

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