07/04/2003

'Millionaire' contestants found guilty of cheating

The three people charged with cheating on the quiz show 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' have been found guilty at Southwark Crown Court today.

Army Major Charles Ingram, his wife Diana and university lecturer Tecwen Whittock were all found guilty of "procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception" and sentenced today.

The Ingrams were each handed down an 18 month prison sentence - suspended for two years. They were also fined £15,000 and told to pay legal costs of around £10,000. Whittock received a 12 month sentence, suspended for two years, and fined £10,000 with £7,500 costs.

The jury accepted the prosecution's argument that Major Ingram won the £1 million top prize on September 10 2001 with the help of Tecwen Whittock who coughed at key moments in the game.

Whittock, who appeared on the show as a fellow contestant, had claimed he was suffering from hayfever.

All three had denied the charges claiming that they were the victims of a series of coincidences.

(GMcG)

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