Paternity test lover ‘cowardly fraudster’

A FATHER who sent another man to take his DNA test so he could avoid paying child maintenance has been branded “despicable” and “cowardly”.

John Bullett cut off contact with the woman he was having a secret affair with after she told him she was pregnant.

When she gave birth the woman, Danielle Roxburgh, contacted the Child Support Agency who managed to trace Bullett to his home in West Yorkshire.

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He agreed to undergo a paternity test but when it proved negative Ms Roxburgh was shown a picture of the man who had taken it.

Julia Harrow, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court the man in the picture had a tattoo on his face and Bullett does not.

Bullett, of Leatham Crescent, Featherstone, was then ordered to take part in another test with CSA officials watching and it was positive.

The 44-year-old, who pleaded guilty to fraud, then told police he knew the name of the man he sent was Andrew but couldn’t recall his second name. He said he had been in an on-off relationship with another woman for 10 years.

The court heard Bullett met Miss Roxburgh in 2008 and would travel up 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 made Bullett the subject of a six month curfew ordered and told him to pay costs.

“You behaved in a despicable and cowardly fashion,” he said. “This was plainly a planned deliberate matter in which Mr Bullett recruited another man to pull the wool over the doctor’s eyes, the department and, of course, to avoid paying some money to this lady to help with the upbringing of this child.”