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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 April 2007, 17:26 GMT 18:26 UK
Game show fraud assaulted youth
Charles Ingram
Charles Ingram said he was "devastated" to be convicted
TV game show cheat Charles Ingram has been convicted of assaulting a 13-year-old boy who coughed at him.

But Salisbury magistrates imposed an absolute discharge on the 43-year-old former Army major after hearing the boy had lied.

The victim agreed in court he had "made up" a lot of his evidence.

Magistrate Marilyn Perry told Ingram: "We do not accept the defence of self-defence and find you guilty beyond reasonable doubt."

Videolink evidence

The court was told how the boy had coughed at Ingram to amuse friends he was with and mimic the use of coughing by Ingram on ITV's Who Want To Be A Millionaire?

Ingram was convicted in 2003 of cheating his way to 1m by using accomplices' coughs in the audience to steer him to the answers.

Magistrates were told that while jogging near his Urchfont home in April 2006 Ingram felt phlegm on his face as the boy coughed over him.

Ingram, who denied common assault, was alleged to have grabbed the boy and pushed him against a wall to reprimand him.

The boy, giving evidence via a videolink, claimed he was pushed up against a wall by Ingram, making him "shocked" and "scared".

But during cross-examination by defence lawyer John Berry, the boy admitted what he did was "revolting" and that he had lied about being pushed against the wall.

Outside court, Ingram told journalists: "The prosecution witnesses were contradictory and one was shown to be lying and yet I was convicted." He added: "I simply do not understand why they have found me guilty."

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