Liam Magill - Paternity Fraud Case - High Court of Australia

The Age Newspaper Australia

Court overturns paternity case

The Age, Australia, March 17, 2005

A man who sued his unfaithful ex-wife for falsely claiming two of her three children were his lost his damages payout on appeal in Melbourne today.

The Victorian Court of Appeal ruled that there was no evidence to show Meredith Magill, 37, had intended to deceive her then husband by making false representations on the children's birth certificates.

Liam Magill, 54, was awarded $70,000 in damages and costs by Victorian County Court Judge John Hanlon in November 2002.

Mrs Magill appealed the decision.

The couple were married in 1988 and separated in 1992.

DNA tests in 2000 showed Mr Magill was the biological father of only the first of Mrs Magill's three children, who were born between April 1989 and November 1991.

After the couple separated, Mr Magill made child support payments for all three children until 1999.

Mr Magill claimed he had suffered stress, anxiety and depression over the break-up of his marriage and the later revelation that he was not the father of all three children and has been unable to work for several years.

He claimed general damages and economic loss from his payment of child support.

Neither of the Magills attended court today.

Mr Magill's lawyer Vivien Mavropoulos said her client was still dealing with the emotional trauma of discovering the children were not his.

"He is very hurt and very ill, that's the reason he was not in court.

"It's been a hard blow and he is entitled to some peace."

A spokeswoman for Clayton Utz, who represented Mrs Magill, said she was very happy with outcome of her appeal.

In today's judgment, one of the three judges, Justice Frank Callaway said Mrs Magill's evidence at the County Court hearing had been "redolent of candour".

She had then told the County Court that she hadn't thought about "anything too hard" except getting the children's births registered and complying with a bureaucratic requirement.

It was the Appeal Court's view that at the time she filled in the birth registration forms, Mrs Magill had had no intention of deceiving her husband.

Justice Geoffrey Eames said Mr Magill had failed to establish that in incurring any expenses, he was induced by and relied upon the truth of the contents of the two birth certificates.


Women Liars
National Survey UK
5,000 women

Scotland's National Newspaper

96% of women are liars, honest

The Scotsman, Scotland's National Newspaper
December 2004

NINETEEN out of 20 women admit lying to their partners or husbands, a survey on attitudes to truth and relationships has found.

Eighty-three per cent owned up to telling "big, life-changing lies", with 13 per cent saying they did so frequently.

Half said that if they became pregnant by another man but wanted to stay with their partner, they would lie about the baby's real father.

Forty-two per cent would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, no matter the wishes of their partner.

And an alarming 31 per cent said they would not tell a future partner if they had a sexual disease: this rises to 65 per cent among single women.

Book About the Liam Magill Case of Paternity Fraud / Deceit

Days of Tempest: The Liam Magill Story

By Lea Anna Cooper

When Liam Magill's marriage to his wife, Meredith, ended in 1992, he was devastated.

He not only lost a marriage but also three children.

Liam Magill successfully sued his ex-wife in county court for $70,000 after DNA tests revealed two of their children were not his.

2.4 Million Australians are victims of paternity fraud

The best authorities in the world project that minimum of 10% of the population are victims of paternity fraud. A number of important studies estimate that 16% of the population are fraudulently misidentified on their birth records and are deprived of a relationship with their biological father in violation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child articles 7, 8 and 9 which provide for the human right to be raised by your biological parents. That means BOTH biological parents.

We invite you to read newspaper articles and studies found on this site.  In particular, you should read the article from Canada's largest national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, which quotes geneticists from The Hospital for Sick Children, one of the top children's hospitals in the world. The article is titled " Mommy's Little Secret"