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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 October, 2003, 14:17 GMT 15:17 UK
Major breaks down in court
Charles Ingram
Charles Ingram denies all the charges
Former Army Major Charles Ingram broke down in court as he described the stresses of winning and losing 1m on a TV quiz show.

He said his life had fallen to pieces after allegations of insurance fraud coincided with allegations over cheating on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

He has denied at Bournemouth Crown Court seven charges of deception relating to two house contents insurance policies.

Mr Ingram, 39, said on Thursday the stress of the publicity, and after-effects of the quiz show, made it difficult for him to think clearly when answering questions about the alleged insurance fraud.

He said the ensuing cancellation of the 1m cheque was "cataclysmic" for himself and his family.

We have had our dog beaten up and our cat shot at with an air pistol
Charles Ingram

He told the jury of the stresses the family had been through: "We have had to put up with a huge amount of difficulties.

"We have had our dog beaten up and our cat shot at with an air pistol.

"It was horrendous. It had an incredible impact on me in the interview."

The court has heard that the former major from Wiltshire took out two consecutive insurance policies without declaring he had made three or more claims within the preceding three-year period.

One witness has said that Mr Ingram would not have been issued this insurance if he had declared the number of claims he had actually made.

Army lifestyle

Mr Ingram said one of his daughters had been diagnosed with autism and another with dyslexia at the time he took out the Zurich Municipal policy.

He said he believed the stress of his army lifestyle - which led him to move home eight times in 11 years - added to his mental confusion over what claims he had made.

He told the jury that when he applied for the two policies, with Zurich Municipal in 1997 and Direct Line in 2001, he did not realise the importance of the details he was asked to provide.

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

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

There is no suggestion that the claims were not to cover genuine losses.

The trial continues.




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



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