A FORMER soldier who only discovered he was a father 13 years after his son was born has been hauled before the courts to face allegations he owes more than £34,000 in child support.
Adrian Haddon, 37, of Bowness Avenue in Thornton, said he was completely shocked when arrested by Lancashire Police on orders of authorities in Canada, where his son lives.
They claim he owes £34,402 in child support dating back sixteen years.
The former soldier, who served with the Royal Engineers in Canada for three months in 1994, said: “I was shocked.
“I’ve never refused to pay, I wouldn’t refuse it. I just didn’t know he was mine.”
Mr Haddon’s son is now 16 and living in Alberta in Canada.
The local scaffolder says he was only contacted by the Canadian authorities with allegations he owed money in 2002 and is now hoping to sort the situation out.
He added: “I’d met his mother in 1994 and she fell pregnant.
“She was Canadian and I was serving there at the time. We were serving in Canada for three months and then we were moved on.
“I went back in 1995 and bumped into her. I saw she’d had a baby but I didn’t know he was mine until a DNA test three years ago.
“Since then it’s been an on-going thing. Because it’s from another country, it takes, months and years to sort out.
“We just need to go through the courts to sort out the arrears. But they’ve added up over so many years, those arrears will always probably be there until I die.”
Blackpool Magistrates Court heard the debt had been registered in the UK by the Alberta authorities.
The Canadians used a reciprocal agreement between the two nations to catch up with Mr Haddon and asked Lancashire Police to arrest him.
Trevor Colebourne, defending Haddon, said: “This is an unusual case.
“My client was somewhat shocked to be arrested here for matters in Canada.
“He has not been working and would like to contest the amount and although he can be arrested in this country he cannot apply to vary the order made in Canada in this country.”
Mr Haddon, who also has a five-year-old son, moved to Blackpool in 2002 after leaving the Army.
He said he is now trying to build a relationship with his teenage son.
He added: “It was not until last year that his mother and I spoke to each other.
“I have a son now and I’d love to see him.
“I’ve spoken to him on the phone, he wants us to have contact and hopes that one day we will meet each other.”
Blackpool magistrates agreed to bail Haddon pending his appearance before a family court next week.