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Man jailed for father death fraud


A man who did not 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.

His son, Christopher, 29, had been living at the house alongside the body but kept quiet about the death of his father from natural causes.

It emerged that the defendant also kept his 10-year-old daughter in the house and lied to her that her grandfather was asleep in his room.

Blackburn, now of Norman Road, Birkby, Huddersfield, admitted preventing a lawful and decent burial of a dead body between October 31, 2010 and March 22 last year.

He also pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to theft in pocketing £1,869 of income support payments he collected from the post office.

Sentencing him at Preston Crown Court, 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."

Blackburn lied to police that he had spoken to his father since November 2010 and that 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."