Man pretended to be dead to defraud family

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A Chinese man who pretended to be dead to defraud money from his family has received a suspended jail term.

Wai Hung Lo, of 12 Northland Road, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation between November 10 and November 23, last year.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard that the 39-year-old assumed the identity of his friend and wrote a letter to his sister to report his death.

The letter stated that Lo had been living in England when he died of a heart attack and £1000 was needed for his body to be brought back to Northern Ireland.

The money was sent by special delivery and Lo spent it on a deposit for a house and a new TV.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin told the court it was an “unpleasant offence” that was always going to be discovered.

He added: “In many ways the damage he has done to himself in the eyes of his family is a considerable penalty in itself.”

District Judge Barney McElholm suspended a four month jail term for two years.