Man loses appeal over DNA paternity test

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

A WEALTHY businessman who refused to undergo DNA genetic fingerprinting tests in a dispute over paternity of a nine-year-old girl yesterday lost an appeal against court rulings that he is her father and must pay maintenance.

Wilfred Tomlinson, 50, was named by Maxine Duckett as the father of her daughter Fleur. Mrs Duckett claimed Fleur was born as a result of a single sexual encounter in September 1983 during her previous marriage when she worked for a Worcester heating company of which Mr Tomlinson was then commercial director.

She said he took an interest in Fleur at first, buying her clothes and toys, but washed his hands of her when his wife discovered he was claimed to be the father. Mr Tomlinson disputed Mrs Duckett's claim in a long series of court hearings, but did not give evidence in his own defence and would not co-operate in blood tests ordered by magistrates.

As a result, the courts concluded he was Fleur's father and ordered him to pay pounds 40 a week for two years up to January 1992 and pounds 72 a week thereafter, including part of her private school fees, plus a lump sum of pounds 1,000. He was also ordered to pay her mother's pounds 7,414 legal costs.

Mr Tomlinson, of Upton Snodsbury, near Worcester, said he had no confidence that the tests would be accurate and requiring him to submit to them was an 'intolerable debasement of his rights as a human being' under European law.

Mr Tomlinson said he would seek leave to appeal to the House of Lords.