Father sent look-alike to take DNA paternity test to avoid child maintenance costs

Test: Thomas Kenny was described in court as 'highly manipulative'
Test: Thomas Kenny was described in court as 'highly manipulative'

A man has avoided a jail sentence for now for sending a look-alike to take a paternity test for him in a bid to avoid paying child maintenance.

Thomas Kenny, who was described in court as 'highly manipulative', was in a relationship when his infidelity led to another woman becoming pregnant. 

Birmingham Crown Court heard the woman refused to have a termination and Kenny was determined to do anything to avoid paying maintenance costs. 

When the time came to take a DNA test ordered by the Child Support Agency, he tried to dodge his responsibility, the Birmingham Mail reports. 

The court heard Kenny was expecting his second child with his lover when he had the affair, and that he put pressure on the second woman to abort. 

Judge Philip Parker QC said: "You wished her to have an abortion which she declined and then in December 2012, when you knew you were the father of her forthcoming child, you decided to deny paternity.

"As a result of that she and the child were forced to undergo DNA testing

"On 24 June 2013 you were required to provide a DNA sample to a doctor.

"One way or another you sent someone in your place."

The judge said Kenny had caused a serious amount of distress to the parties involved, not to mention the financial strain put on those involved. 

A complex investigation was launched to determine the circumstances surrounding the events, the judge added. 

The judge continued: "The effect of what you did was to seek to avoid payments to the child that was genuinely yours.

"You are plainly the author of your own misfortunes.

"I have read references from people who suggest that you are normally a well behaved individual but the facts show that you can be thoroughly dishonest and highly manipulative.

"I know you are said to be the loving father of two children by your long standing relationship but this case shows you were prepared to disown a child of your own for financial gain.

"Morally you can not sink lower than that. To deny you are the father of a child and send someone to give a false sample DNA sample is an extremely serious combination."

Kenny, who had previously admitted conspiracy to defraud, was sentenced to six months suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay £885 compensation and £500 costs.