A cheating father in the U.K. sent another man to a paternity test to dodge his financial responsibilities. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

A young father in the United Kingdom who did not want to pay child support was called “highly manipulative” in court after he sent a look-alike to his DNA paternity test. Thomas Kenny, 25, was trying to dodge payments for child support to a woman he had an affair with while he was in a long-term relationship with another woman.

Express reported that when Kenny failed to pressure the woman into having an abortion, he resorted to deceit. He already had one child with his long-term partner, who was pregnant with their second child when he began an affair with the other woman.

The other woman decided to undergo paternity testing to prove Kenny fathered her child. On June 24, 2013, the Child Support Agency required him to provide a DNA sample to a doctor. Kenny sent someone else in his place, a co-worker who looks like him, to do the test.

Kenny’s duplicity was discovered when he was arrested in June 2014. He was revealed to be the father of the child after DNA tests on his other children did not match the test sample.

Judge Philip Parker QC of the Birmingham Crown Court admonished Kenny for his deceit. Although he read references from people who knew Kenny saying he was “normally a well-behaved individual,” the judge based his decision on Kenny's attempt to save himself from paying financial assistance to his child.

“I know you are said to be the loving father of two children by your long-standing relationship, but this case shows you were prepared to disown a child of your own for financial gain,” the judge told him in court. “Morally, you cannot sink lower than that.”

Judge Parker called Kenny “thoroughly dishonest and highly manipulative,” adding he had caused the mother of the child an enormous amount of distress. The mother no longer wanted anything to do with him.

Kenny’s attorney, Heidi Kubic, attempted to explain his actions, saying the threat of losing contact with his two sons from his first relationship prompted him to cheat the DNA test. She claimed he was under enormous pressure and stress. The judge was not sympathetic, however, telling him that he was “plainly the author of [his] own misfortunes.”

Kenny, who previously admitted to conspiracy to defraud in another case, was sentenced for fraud and has received a sentence of six months suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay £885 [US$1,400] compensation and £500 costs. If he had gotten away with his deception, he would have defrauded the state a minimum of £5,000 if he remained unemployed for the first 18 years of the child’s life.