Man gave false DNA sample to avoid child maintenance payments

By Lenore Rice

A man has been handed a suspended jail sentence and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, after it was discovered that he provided a fake DNA sample in order to avoid paying child maintenance in respect of his daughter.

Matthew Wall, aged 27, admitted to getting a sample from someone at the bar where he worked, and then sending it to the Child Support Agency so they would think he was not the biological father of his daughter. When the results were returned the baby's mother expressed her shock as they had previously done a private DNA test that confirmed that Mr Wall was the father. In court Mr Wall admitted conspiracy to defraud, and in a subsequent hearing has now been given an 8 month prison term, suspended for 12 months.

The baby in question was born in May 2012 and the mother had made an application for child maintenance payments in September 2013. The amount of missed payments came to a total of £25,231.

The court showed some leniency in their sentencing as a result of the remorse shown by Mr Wall, and that he had "now accepted responsibility" for his daughter.

If you require legal advice in respect of child maintenance payments, child custody or visitation access, or any other matter in respect of children, contact one of the family law solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by calling 0800 840 9292.