Dad dodging child support payment spared jail after trying to get ‘bloke in pub’ to take DNA test

July 21, 2015 3:24 pm


Scheming: Matthew Wall wanted to avoid £25,000 of commitment, a court heard

A dad who tried to dodge paying more than £25,000 in child support payments by getting “a bloke in the pub” to take a DNA test has been spared jail.
Scheming Matthew Wall, 27, refused to cough up thousands of owed
payments for his three-year-old daughter so hatched a plan to dupe
government officials.
A court heard the bungling bar manager took the “foolish decision”
after “an alcohol-fuelled conversation” to get a fellow drinker to fake
the Child Support Agency’s test.
But he was caught out when it emerged the girl’s mum had already privately arranged a DNA test that proved Wall was the father.
She told Child Support Agency officials who ordered a subsequent “on the spot” test that confirmed the test result.
On Monday Wall, of Edgmond, Shrops., admitted conspiracy to defraud when he appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

Dave Bagnall Collection / Alamy
Shrewsbury Crown Court

Court Hearing: Wall admitted conspiracy to defraud when he appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court

Sentencing him to eight months prison, suspended for 12 months,
Recorder Nigel Daly said: “You have shown remorse for your behaviour and
it seems you have now accepted responsibility for your daughter.
“You are well thought of and due for promotion other than this you
are a responsible, hardworking man with no previous convictions.”
Wall was also ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £535 costs.
Prosecutor William Dudley said the mum made an application for
payments in September 2013 for their daughter, who was born in May 2012.
The court heard the subsequent loss from non-payments totalled £25,231.
Steven Scully, defending, said Wall expected doctors to carry out the
first test “there and then”, but was presented with a “moral dilemma”
when he was allowed to take it away.
Mr Scully said: “As part of an alcohol-fuelled conversation he took
the foolish decision to get somebody else to take the test for him.
“It started the chain of events which leads him here before the court and the loss of his good character.”
Mr Scully added that Wall is making weekly payments and was disgusted by his own behaviour.

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