A dad who sent another man to take his DNA test so he could dodge paying child maintenance has been branded ‘despicable’ and ‘cowardly’.
John Bullett, 44, of Leatham Crescent, Featherstone, cut off contact with a woman he was having a secret affair with, after she told him she was pregnant.
Bullett agreed to take a paternity test when the woman, Danielle Roxburgh, contacted the Child Support Agency after the baby was born.
However, Leeds Crown Court heard that when the DNA test proved negative, Miss Roxburgh was shown a picture of the man who had taken it. He had a tattoo on his face, when Bullett did not.
Julia Harrow, prosecuting, said Bullett was ordered to take another DNA test with CSA officials watching, which proved positive.
Bullett, who pleaded guilty to fraud at an earlier hearing, told police the man he asked to take the test was just known to him as Andrew.
Bullett said he had been in an on-off relationship with another woman for ten years, but met Miss Roxburgh in 2008 and would travel to her home in Newcastle most weekends until he found out she was pregnant.
Miss Harrow said: “He said he [Andrew] had also had a sexual relationship with Miss Roxburgh and that man had taken the test and wanted to see if he was the father.”
Richard Canning, mitigating, said Bullett genuinely believed he was not the father when he was initially contacted by the CSA.
Recorder Simon Hirst gave Bullett a six-month curfew order and ordered him to pay costs.
He said: “You behaved in a despicable and cowardly fashion. This was plainly a planned deliberate matter in which Mr Bullett recruited another man to pull the wool over the doctors’ eyes, the department and of course to avoid paying some money to this lady to help with the upbringing of this child.”