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A firefighter enlisted the help of a lookalike friend to try and get out of paying child maintenance.

Simon Jordan had denied that he was the father of a baby born to a nurse and agreed to take a paternity test to avoid handing over £16,000. However, he enlisted his friend Jason Lee Coles because they both look so similar. Coles provided the necessary DNA sample and photo ID. However, the mother of Jordan’s child was adamant that he was the father and the Child Support Agency (CSA) launched an investigation.

The CSA discovered the scam and the two men were taken to Shrewsbury Crown Court where they admitted conspiracy to commit fraud between July and August 2017. Jordan will now have to pay the thousands owed and has also got a criminal record of a 12-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months. He will also have to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community and attend 15 rehabilitation activity days. Coles was given a 6-month prison sentence suspended for a year and will also have to do 200 hours of community service.

Judge Peter Barrie said: “People must take responsibility for the outcome if a child is conceived whatever the circumstances might be. If you now accept that you are the father – then this offence was an attempt to avoid paying by deceiving the child support authorities by providing a test that would not support your paternity. Jason Coles has also ended up with a criminal record and community service. You knew full well that a test that would support your paternity would result in support payments.”

He added that his behaviour was a ‘clearly financially motivated’ bid to ‘derail support of a child’.

Andrew Holland, who was defending Jordan, said: “He has seen the complainant in this matter over the years and there was no mention of a child. It therefore came like a bolt out of the blue when the CSA contacted him to make arrangements for a DNA test.”

He added: “He accepts it was an utterly foolish thing to get his friend to take the test for him”.

Legal DNA testing

When AlphaBiolabs undertakes any legal DNA testing, the DNA sample must be collected by an approved sample collector, a nurse or another medical professional. The sample collector maintains chain of custody conditions to ensure validity of the test and to avoid any suspicion of fraud. This involves the collector taking a photo of the sample donor, inspecting identification, checking the signed consent forms and confirming the correct person has provided the sample. The samples can be collected from any location in the UK, whether a client’s home, at offices, prisons or at nationwide Walk in Centres. Under these strict collection conditions, there is no chance of the sample being interfered with and the results are therefore admissible in a UK court.

Details on AlphaBiolabs’ legal DNA testing services for legal professionals, businesses and members of the public, can be accessed here. Alternatively, if you have any queries or need further information, please call Customer Services on 0333 600 1300 or email info@alphabiolabs.com