A man tried to get out of paying child maintenance by asking his brother to take a paternity test for him, a court heard.
Vernon Poppleton fathered a child in 2009 during an extra-marital affair and then did his best to avoid giving financial support for his daughter. When the Child Support Agency tracked him down in February 2011, he denied being the father and was asked to take a DNA test.
Poppleton, from Kinning Park, Glasgow, then asked his brother Victor to take the test for him so he wouldn’t be made to make regular child maintenance payments to his former mistress and their daughter.
His actions were discovered when Victor had to provide two passport photographs during the paternity testing process and the child’s mother spotted that the pictures did not show Vernon.
Poppleton, aged 33, admitted fraud earlier this month and will be sentenced in the New Year.
Sheriff Kenneth Hogg, sitting at Glasgow Sheriff Court, described the case as “very unusual”.
Poppleton’s defence lawyer Neil Kilcoyne said that his client had since accepted that he was the biological father of the six-year-old child and he was now making regular maintenance payments.
Accurate DNA tests can be used as legal evidence
Professor Allan Jamieson, from The Forensic Institute, told The Daily Record: “Brothers would share some similar DNA but unless they were identical twins the DNA wouldn’t be identical.
“The test looks at 16 different areas of the DNA, which makes the results very specific and reduces the number of people who are included as the potential father.
“DNA testing has meant that how certain we can be over whether somebody is or isn’t the father has increased dramatically.”
This is not the first time a man has been convicted for asking someone else to take a paternity test on his behalf. Earlier this year 25-year-old Thomas Kenny was given a six-month suspended sentence for fraud when he sent another man who looked like him to take a DNA test.
Birmingham Crown Court also ordered him to pay compensation and court costs.
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