16/01/2012 15:28 GMT | Updated 17/03/2012 05:12 GMT

Christopher Blackburn Leaves Dead Father On Couch For Five Months To Pockets His Benefits

A man has admitted to leaving his dead father on a couch for five months, living with the body in order to pocket his benefits payments.

Christopher Blackburn, 29, pleaded guilty on Monday to preventing a lawful and decent burial of a dead body between 31 October 31 2010 and 23 March last year.

Police found the body of 54-year-old Guy Blackburn on a bed in the living room of his home in Penwortham, Lancashire, on 22 March last year after neighbours raised concerns.

A post-mortem examination showed he had died from natural causes - probably several months earlier.

The defendant had been living at the house in Alderfield for the duration that his father was dead.

Appearing at Preston Crown Court, Blackburn, now living in Norman Road, Birkby, Huddersfield, also admitted to theft in claiming £1,308 in income support that had been paid into his father's bank account after his death.

The case was adjourned to 12 March for pre-sentence reports which will include a psychological evaluation.

Judge Anthony Russell QC said all sentencing options remained open but in his view these were "serious offences" and a custodial term was "quite likely".

Blackburn was granted unconditional bail.

Following the pleas, Detective Inspector Marc Nasser said it was the first case of its type that the force had dealt with in Lancashire.

"It was a challenging crime and one that most members of the community will find appalling. I am pleased that Blackburn has pleaded guilty and will now be sentenced for the offences," he said.