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 12:58:39 in EnglandA poem about the killing of PC Keith Blakelock during riots in north London was written by the man accused of his murder, a court has heard.
At 12:58:21 in SportKent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.
At 12:56:04 in ScotlandA hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
At 12:55:09 in BusinessThe sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
At 12:54:04 in HeadlinesIndia's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
At 12:53:21 in SportCrystal Palace winger Jason Puncheon has been fined £15,000 by the Football Association and warned about his future conduct for Twitter comments he made in relation to former boss Neil Warnock.
At 12:52:43 in HeadlinesA second witness at the murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has told a court in the capital Pretoria she was awoken by the sounds of a fight early on 14 February 2013.
At 12:42:01 in PoliticsThere is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
At 12:41:48 in EnglandA residential treatment programme for addicts which closed in Yeovil is to reopen after the charity running it merged with another organisation.
At 12:40:03 in ScotlandPolice Scotland has exceeded its target to recruit 1,000 additional officers.
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 8th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
India's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
The law needs to be changed to stop ticket touts overcharging fans ahead of the Rugby World Cup, an MP has said.
Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales has "a sort of mild Alzheimer's", her husband Tim West has revealed in the Radio Times.
The sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
Apple has unveiled its new iPhone technology for cars at the Geneva Motor Show.
Kent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.