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Lancashire benefits fraudster jailed for keeping his father's rotting corpse in bed for five months

A man left his father's dead body in bed for nearly five months so he could claim his benefit payments - even telling his innocent 10-year-old daughter that her grandfather was just asleep.
Christopher Blackburn was jailed for three years after police found the body of his father Guy, 54, on a bed in the living room of his home in Penwortham, Lancashire.

The macabre discovery was made last March, after neighbours raised concerns.
Blackburn, 29, had been living at the house alongside the body but kept quiet about his father's death from natural causes as he pocketed nearly £2,000.
Blackburn, now of 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 after collecting £1,869 of his father's income support payments from the post office.

Sentencing him at Preston Crown Court, Recorder 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's] 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 falsely told police he had spoken to his father since November 2010 and had had a drink with him at Christmas.

An inquest last February was told Blackburn had a long history of poor health including heart attacks and strokes and had been in ‘extremely emaciated’ with a protruding rib cage and long fingernails.

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.'

Det Insp Marc Nasser of Lancashire Police said: 'This is an unusual case and it is the first of its type that we have dealt with in Lancashire.
'It was a challenging crime and one that most members of the community will have found appalling and I am pleased that Blackburn has now been punished for what he did.'

One neighbour said: 'I had always got on with Guy, he was a nice bloke, but I had not seen him for ages. I kept asking his son if he was OK, and he would say "yes".

'We thought his son was looking after him, I was constantly saying "Is your dad alright?" and obviously he was not. It is not nice, it has upset me.'

Another neighbour said: 'Guy was a friendly chap who would do anything for anybody.

'“It has made me so upset, you do not leave an animal like that. When you think it is your dad, it is even worse. I would like to remember him before he got ill having a laugh and a joke, not dying the way he did.

Added: Mar-14-2012 
By: HeadlessCorpse
Regional News
Tags: Fraud,
Location: England, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
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