Bogus doctor fakes DNA to avoid child costs

Conrad De Souza, pic: Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission Press Office

A man who lied to be a qualified doctor and has been working for the NHS in Lewisham for nearly a decade has been sentenced to 27 months imprisonment at Croydon Crown Court on Monday.

Conrad De Souza, 53, held the role of a clinical advisor at NHS Lewisham, and was an Assistant Clinical Director for the South East London Cardiac and Stroke Network.

The investigation carried out by NHS Protect, together with Lewisham Primary Care Trust and the Metropolitan Police, has established that De Souza was employed on the basis of a qualification he did not obtain.

He never graduated from the University of London medical school, although he enrolled in 1980. He also claimed to be another doctor, with a similar name.

During his role with the NHS, between 2001 and 2010, De Souza is said to have fraudulently earned at least £361,000.

A spokesperson for NHS Lewisham, said: “In neither of these roles did Mr de Souza treat patients, examine them or prescribe medication.”

“We have learnt lessons from the case and the NHS now have much tighter recruitment policies in place.”

De Souza background was investigated after he was originally brought to court in 2009 for faking a DNA sample in a paternity test in order to avoid paying for child maintenance.

The lie came out after the mother of the child raised her concerns about the paternity test results and the case was investigated further by Child Support Agency.

It was discovered that De Souza had taken a sample from his father, who is in his eighties, and passed it off as his own.

Stuart Richards, Principle Legal Enforcement Manager, Child Support Agency, said: “This was perhaps the most sophisticated attempt to cheat a mother and child out of financial support that the CSA has ever seen.”

“He was caught because the mother in the case satisfied us there was reason to investigate further.

“He was shown to be a man living a lie and, because of that, his child is now unlikely for some time to receive any support from him.”

Judge Simon Pratt, said in the court on Monday: “You were an articulate, driven and deeply dishonest man without any apparent conscience about what you were doing.”

De Souza was jailed for 18 months for the offence against the NHS and 9 months for the CSA-related offences, to be served consecutively.

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