A dad who sent another man to take a paternity test to avoid paying maintenance when he fathered a baby outside of his long-term relationship has avoided a prison sentence.
Northampton Crown Court was told that Tumain Dallas, 27, from George Street, Higham Ferrers had a seven-month relationship with a woman which ended in late 2010.
Soon after, the woman found out she was pregnant and the court heard that Dallas had applied pressure on her to have a termination.
Later, after the baby was born, the mother made a claim for child support payments.
However, Dallas, worried that his existing partner would discover that he had been unfaithful, offered to make cash payments to the mother instead.
When she rejected these and persisted with the maintenance claim, Dallas denied he was the baby’s father.
A paternity test at the Nene Valley Surgery was booked and when the results became available it revealed that Dallas was not the father, but was instead a close relative of the baby.
The mother was suspicious and when further enquiries were made it was found that Dallas’s first name had been spelled incorrectly on the form and that the date of birth had been overwritten.
Dallas was interviewed by the police and maintained that he had given the DNA sample.
A further swab showed he was indeed the father, and that he was not the same person who had provided the original sample.
Dallas eventually relented, and said he had asked a stranger to provide the DNA sample for him – although the court heard this was unlikely as it had still been a close match for the baby.
Dallas pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to defraud at an earlier hearing.
The court was told that he had built up arrears of more than £3,700 in child support payments, which he was now paying off on top of £40-a-week he should have been originally paying.
Matthew Lowe, representing Dallas, said his existing partner had also left him after discovering he had been unfaithful, and now lives away from the area.
He added that Dallas, a firefighter at Cranfield Airport and a retained firefighter in Northamptonshire, had been worried that it would end his relationship when she discovered he had fathered another child.
He added: “In fact, his long-term partner did leave him when she discovered through Facebook what had happened.”
Judge Lynn Tayton QC told Dallas he was fortunate to be avoiding prison.
She handed him a one-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, saying that if Dallas were sent to jail, he would not be able to make support payments to either of his children.
She added: “Not only were you denying the money, you were denying the child the knowledge of who his father was.”