We covered the issue of paternity fraud in our 2015 general election manifesto (pp. 52-4). Our thanks to Nick for pointing us to a remarkable case of paternity fraud, described in a lengthy article in the Daily Mail. Extracts:
For two years, this room in Jonathan’s five-bedroom semi-detached house in Surrey has been a shrine to an 11-year-old boy named Timothy — a boy he believed to be his much-loved biological son, having been callously duped by his former wife.
So angry and distraught was Jonathan, a university lecturer, when he discovered her deceit that last year he took her to court, where a judge ordered she pay him £40,000 in compensation for his distress, humiliation and the maintenance he had paid.
A hollow victory when weighed against the agonising loss of a child who Jonathan has, without hope of recourse to the legal system, been prevented from seeing for over two years by his ex…
Sadly, no contact order was awarded by the family court, which decreed, at a hearing in March 2013, that Jonathan could send a card to Timothy once a month, in the vain hope they would be passed on. Adding insult to injury, the judge advised him not to appeal the decision.
‘It was a devastating outcome and every time I thought about what it meant in the days and weeks that followed, I broke down in tears,’ recalls Jonathan. ‘I’d grown to love this boy just as I did my older children, and the results of a blood test made no difference to those feelings whatsoever.
‘But even putting my emotions to one side, how could the court believe it was in Timothy’s interests to have the man he’d always known as “Daddy” erased from his life?’…
Jonathan stopped his maintenance payments following the DNA results. Although the loss of £80,000 in child support was the least distressing part of the whole sorry affair, when a solicitor told him he could sue for parental fraud, he decided that might make him feel a little less used by his ex.
Additionally, he hoped it would deter other women from committing similar deceptions.
At the Central London County Court in March last year, as well as his substantial legal costs, believed to be over £50,000 Jonathan was reportedly awarded £40,000 in damages, half the amount he had paid in maintenance.
Judge Deborah Taylor told the hearing that Annette was guilty of ‘deliberate fraudulent misrepresentation’, but stopped short of ruling that all the maintenance should be repaid as Jonathan had experienced the benefit of having Timothy in his life.
He has spent the past year writing a book, detailing the full story, which he hopes Timothy, now 11, will one day read, to counter-balance any negativity he may have heard from his mother.
The (Kindle) book is available to buy (for £2.98) here.
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