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Father sent brother to DNA test to avoid paying child maintenance

Former soldier Vernon Poppleton was due to give DNA test after woman he had affair with gave birth.

Court: Father blasted by sheriff for sending brother to DNA test. <strong>STV</strong>
Court: Father blasted by sheriff for sending brother to DNA test. STV

A father sent his brother to give a DNA sample to avoid having to pay child maintenance.

Vernon Poppleton, 33, sent his brother Victor to give a DNA sample after he was asked to prove he was father to the little girl.

Married Poppleton fathered the little girl in 2009 when he was having an affair with her mother. He then avoided the Child Support Agency (CSA) until they caught up with him almost a year-and-a-half later in February 2011.

In a rarely seen case in a criminal court in Scotland, Poppleton, from Kinning Park, Glasgow, pled guilty to committing fraud, by attempting to get immunity from paying child maintenance.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court on Thursday, Poppleton avoided jail and was given a community payback order with the conditions he will carry out 240 hours of unpaid work within eight months and stay at his bail address between 9pm and 5am for six months.

Sheriff Lindsay Wood told him: “Just, and no more, I am prepared to impose an alternative. What you did here and what you got your brother to do was so wrong on so many levels.

“Not only have you distressed your then wife, you have also distressed the mother of your daughter and done a complete disservice to your daughter.

“You were doing this so that your wife didn’t find out. This is a conniving act on your part, to present someone else’s DNA but you were found out and rightly so.”

The former soldier fathered the now six-year-old girl in September 2009 when he had the affair. The court was told he disputed he was the father when the girl’s mother contacted the CSA and started the procedures to track him down.

Procurator fiscal depute Alan McArthur said: “The accused disputed responsibility and said that he was not the father, he was invited in to attend at Pollok Health Centrue to have a DNA test. It’s now clear what happened is his brother actually attended.”

The court heard Victor took passport photographs with him when giving his sample which were later shown to the girl’s mother who said that was not the right person.

It was after that, the police became involved. Defence lawyer Neil Kilcoyne told the court Poppleton is repaying money owed to the CSA and giving money to the girl’s mother.

He said his client served in the armed forces and suffered post traumatic stress when he returned from Afghanistan in 2010.


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