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Major Ingram & Co - Guilty

From BBC:

An army major, his wife and a college lecturer have been found guilty of cheating to win the top prize in the TV quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Contestant Charles Ingram, his wife Diana, both 39, and college lecturer Tecwen Whittock were all found guilty of conspiring to cheat the show.

Ingram, who reached the £1m prize, was guided to correct answers with the help of deliberately timed coughs from Whittock.

Ingram's wife was found guilty of helping to "set up" the scam.

All three denied "procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception" - namely £1m on 10 September 2001.

I don't think I've heard of a googol - (cough) - by a process of elimination I have to think it's a googol

Major Charles Ingram

The major's route to £1m  
The verdicts came after Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC told the eight women and three men of the jury he would accept majority decisions after three days of deliberations.

They were all decided by a majority of 10 votes to one, the jury having lost a member for undisclosed reasons earlier in the trial.

Judge Rivlin described the trial at Southwark Crown Court as a "most unusual case".

The prosecution had contended Whittock, 53, from Cardiff, a "fastest finger first" contestant at the time, had used a series of coughs to guide Ingram to most of the right answers.

Mr Whittock denied "coded coughs"
The court heard that another contestant and members of the television crew were suspicious by Whittock's coughing outbreak.

Ingram's wife was accused of helping to set up the alleged fraud.

Sonia Woodley QC, Ingram's barrister, said the Royal Engineers officer was a "committed soldier" who had lived a "honest and decent, hard working life".

Whittock's counsel, David Aubrey QC, said the Crown ignored coughs which did not coincide with correct answers, while disregarding other occasions when he had not coughed.

A doctor told the court Whittock suffered from a year-round dust allergy as well as hayfever.

He also tested "very positive" for asthma, which would have been made worse by a hot TV studio.

The quiz show host Chris Tarrant gave evidence and said he was shocked to hear Ingram was suspected of cheating his way to the top prize.


The Ingrams were both sentenced to 18 months in prison, which was suspended for two years.

They were each fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 costs.

Whittock was given a 12 month sentence, also suspended for two years, and fined £10,000 with £7,500 costs.



I think that the question may be more along the lines of how quickly the army will take his rank off him....

Good old British's no respecter of rank!!

He'll be out on his arrse now as far as the Army is concerned.   He'll lose out financially as well I would suspect.

Apparently both he and his wife had massive debts as did good old Tecwith (is that a real name or did he make it up?).  I would imagine that the money his wife won on an earlier show would have been either spent to pay their previous debts or will be lost in their current legal fees.

It would appear that crime doesn't pay.

I hope they make him run around his unit with a clearance chitty before he's sacked.

The Mess Treasurer wants to make sure he's up to speed on his Mess Bills as well ;D


You'd have thought that an officer who'd been through Sandhurst, presumably has a degree and is in the Engineers would have come up with an idea that was a little better than getting you m8 to cough-money does strange things to the brain


I won't condone any lack of integrity, but can't help feeling that if he checked out with £250,000 no-one would be any the wiser...

Apparently the judge said "Would you like 2 years in prison, a £15,000 fine, 360 hrs of community service,
or would you like to phone a friend" ;D

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