Millionaire cheat loses toes in accident

Rod Minchin,Pa
Thursday 16 September 2010 16:54 BST

An ex-Army major caught cheating his way to £1 million on a TV game show has sliced off three toes in a freak gardening accident.

Charles Ingram, 47, who won the top prize on ITV1's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? with help from an accomplice, slipped on a rotten apple as he was mowing his one-acre garden.

The three biggest toes on his left foot were ripped off through his Wellington boots by the steel blades of the petrol-powered mower.

The father-of-three stumbled back to his three-bedroom detached home in Easterton, near Devizes, Wiltshire, where a friend called the emergency services.

Mr Ingram told the North Wiltshire and Kennet Gazette & Herald: "I was only wearing Wellingtons and it sliced right through the rubber.

"I remember seeing my big toe lying on the grass and thinking, 'oh dear'.

"I got up and managed to shuffle down to the front of the garden."

Mr Ingram, who now runs a computer business, said he was fortunate a customer had just come to his house to collect a laptop he had repaired and she rang for an ambulance.

He was taken to Salisbury District Hospital where he underwent surgery.

"I had a second operation last Friday. Fortunately, the cut was very clean," he said.

"I won't need the blade sharpening for some time. So they stitched me up and sent me home on Saturday morning," Mr Ingram told the newspaper.

"It could have been a lot worse. I am still in pain and I am only just able to apply pressure to the ball of my foot, but I have not lost my balance."

In 2003 Ingram, his wife Diana and university lecturer Tecwen Whittock were convicted of deception for attempting to cheat on Chris Tarrant's ITV quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Ingram used coughs from Whittock, who sat among the other contestants, to guide himself to the correct answers.

The trio were each fined £15,000, ordered to pay £10,000 costs and handed 18-month suspended jail sentences.

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