Christopher Blackburn was sentenced today at Preston Crown Court, after pleading guilty to preventing the lawful and decent burial of a dead body and for the theft of ?1,869 from the Department of Work and Pensions in fraudulently obtained benefit payments. Following the sentencing Craig Cleminson, Senior Crown Prosecutor from CPS North West Area said: ?For nearly five months Christopher Blackburn told no-one that his father had died and instead of notifying the authorities so that arrangements could be made to give his father a decent burial, he misled family and neighbours into thinking that he was still alive. By doing so he was able to steal over ?1,800 worth of benefits by fraudulently collecting his father?s benefit payments on several occasions. ?This was the deliberate and sustained concealment of a death over a long period of time, simply for personal financial gain it would seem. There is no knowing how long Christopher Blackburn would have continued to conceal his father?s death if a neighbour had not raised her concerns with the housing association. "Even after arrest, when faced with clear evidence, Christopher Blackburn continued to deny in interviews any knowledge of his father?s death before the police discovered the body. ?His actions meant that for several months his father was not afforded the dignity of a proper burial. Through the prosecution we brought and following today?s sentence of three years? imprisonment, he must now face up to the seriousness of these crimes.?