Christopher Blackburn jailed over father death fraud
Published: 14th Mar 2012 14:18:25
A 29-year-old man who failed to report the death of his father for nearly five months and claimed his benefit payments has been jailed for three years.
Police found the body of Guy Blackburn, 54, on a bed in the living room of his home in Penwortham, Lancashire, last March after neighbours raised concerns.
Christopher Blackburn, from Birkby, Huddersfield, admitted theft and preventing a lawful burial of a body.
Preston Crown Court heard he took his father's benefit payments of £1,869.
The court was told the defendant continued living in the house with his 10-year-old daughter and lied to her that her grandfather was asleep in his room.
A Home Office post-mortem examination revealed Mr Blackburn had died from natural causes, probably about several months earlier.
The Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell, said: "Such offending is abhorrent to all decent-minded people who will be disgusted by your behaviour.
"It was callous and offensive to his (Guy Blackburn) friends and family who no doubt have been caused considerable distress by these circumstances.
"It also seems to me that you were motivated in part by greed."
The court heard Blackburn lied to police that he had spoken to his father since November 2010 and he had a drink with him at Christmas.
Judge Russell told him: "You pretended he was still alive, misleading others - particularly your own daughter, a little girl.
"You have shown little remorse for your offending.
"A decent person would have immediately admitted to the police that this poor man had died months before but you tried to pretend he had been dead for only days."
Kirsten McAteer, prosecuting, said the defendant had moved into his father's house after he separated from his girlfriend and the mother of his child.
He lived upstairs while his father slept downstairs.
The court was told Mr Blackburn had health problems because of alcohol abuse and had lost contact with the rest of his family, leaving his son as his main carer.
The prosecutor said the defendant's ex-girlfriend recalled that Blackburn initially made excuses for their daughter not to stay over at the house.
She visited the address herself in November 2010 and noticed there were a lot of air fresheners upstairs and remembered holding her nose because of the smell, Miss McAteer said.
She assumed that Mr Blackburn was ill or asleep in his room.
Her daughter's visits continued but in February last year she told her that "grandad was dead".
"She simply had no reason to believe there was any truth in what her daughter was saying," she said. "It seems that the girl had told other children that 'grandad was dead'.
"It appears she later told her mother that the defendant had told her that grandfather was asleep."
During this period, Blackburn had met a new woman and was living on and off with her in Huddersfield, the court heard.
He was not present at the house when police responded to concerns about Mr Blackburn's welfare.
Miss McAteer said it was "immediately apparent" he had been dead for "some considerable time" when police called.
At 23:35:48 in WorldA young girl offered US First Lady Michelle Obama her father's CV during questions at the White House's Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
At 23:12:26 in SportFormula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone made his first appearance in a Munich court on Thursday, accused of giving a £27.5m ($45m, 33m euros) bribe to a German banker.
At 22:51:02 in EntertainmentA village museum in East Sussex will go up against Tate Britain and the new £35m Mary Rose Museum in a contest to be named the UK's museum of the year.
At 22:42:55 in BusinessBarclays agreed to a $280m (£167m) settlement with the US Federal Housing and Finance Authority (FHFA).
At 22:30:17 in EnglandThe government says it is making "urgent inquiries" into reports Whitehall computers were used to make insulting comments about the Hillsborough disaster.
At 22:22:33 in HeadlinesRussia and the US have accused each other of failing to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine after Kiev launched raids on pro-Moscow separatists.
At 22:19:49 in SportWorld number one Rafael Nadal booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open with a 6-3 6-3 win over Croatian Ivan Dodig.
At 22:13:15 in SportFormer Rangers, Hearts and Scotland defender Sandy Jardine has died at the age of 65.
At 22:00:20 in PoliticsThe zero-hours contract - alongside the payday loan and the bad bank - has gained a kind of totemic significance in the public imagination.
At 22:00:03 in ScotlandScottish independence would leave working people north and south of the border worse off, Ed Miliband has claimed.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Christopher Blackburn jailed over father death fraud [Online] (Updated 14th Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1416363/Christopher-Blackburn-jailed-over-father-death-fraud [Accessed 25th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
The zero-hours contract - alongside the payday loan and the bad bank - has gained a kind of totemic significance in the public imagination.
A young girl offered US First Lady Michelle Obama her father's CV during questions at the White House's Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
Ten candidates will be vying for three European parliament seats in Northern Ireland, it has been confirmed.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
A 15 year-old girl has been cut free after becoming trapped in a children's swing in a park in Denbighshire.
Skin grown in the laboratory can replace animals in drug and cosmetics testing, UK scientists say.