[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 October, 2003, 19:30 GMT 20:30 UK
Tarrant told of Ingram insurance probe
Charles Ingram
Charles Ingram denies all the charges
An investigator looking into disputed insurance claims of Charles Ingram tipped off Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? host Chris Tarrant about the allegations, a court heard on Wednesday.

Ingram, 39, of Easterton, Wiltshire, faces seven charges of deception in relation to two home contents insurance policies.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard that after suspicions were raised about Ingram's claims, investigator Edwin Pattington was taken on by Direct Line Insurance in September 2001 to examine the case and question the former Army major.

The court was told that Ingram had already become known at this stage for allegations of cheating on the TV game show.

'Dodgy major'

The jury heard that Mr Pattington delivered a letter to Chris Tarrant's home address which read: "Chris, I investigate for insurance companies and your dodgy major put in a very doubtful claim.

"If you want to pass my numbers on to those looking into his win, I may have some background information. Regards. Eddie."

Mr Pattington said he believed there may have been a connection between Ingram and his fellow contestant on the TV show, Tecwen Whittock, because they had both lived in Wales.

If I am worried about being accused of cheating on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, the last thing I do is think about filling in an insurance form.
Charles Ingram
But Selva Ramasamy, defending, said Mr Pattington had wanted "to whip this case up" in order to ensure there was a prosecution, and the publicity which would accompany it.

"You want to be the man who brought down Mr Ingram with this case," he added.

Mr Pattington denied this, saying: "It's absolutely of no consequence to me what happens to this case."

The court heard that Ingram was arrested in October 2001 and was interviewed on two occasions.

In excerpts read to the jury on Wednesday, Ingram told police he had not intended to deceive the insurance companies.

He said the claims he had failed to disclose had slipped his memory amid the accusations of cheating on the TV quiz show.

"If I am worried about being accused of cheating on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, the last thing I do is think about filling in an insurance form."

Ingram denies two charges of deception by failing to disclose claims made in the preceding three years when taking out two home contents insurance policies.

He also denies five charges of deception by making claims totalling about 32,000 on the two insurance policies.

The jury has been told there is no allegation that the losses claimed for in the five claims were not genuine losses.

The case was adjourned until Thursday.


SEE ALSO:
Major 'did not declare claims'
21 Oct 03  |  Wiltshire
Major faces deception charges
02 May 03  |  Wiltshire



PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific