Deadbeat dad jailed
MICHIGAN – A judge has jailed a man who fathered 23 children by 14 different women – then refused to pay support.
Judge Denis Lieber branded Howard Veal, 44, who owes more than US$500 000 (BDS$1 million) in child support, “outrageous” and “an insult to every responsible father”.
The judge in Grand Rapids, western Michigan, was so appalled that he far exceeded the state guidelines by sentencing Veal to up to four years.
The judge told him: “You are the poster child for irresponsibility. You’re an insult to every responsible father who sacrifices to provide for their children.
“Animals procreate, human beings are supposed to nurture their children.”
Veal has barely worked at all over the years, instead choosing to live on benefits.
When he had a job for a few months last year, some money was taken from his wage to pay for his children, but it barely made a dent in what he owed.
The case against him stemmed from his guilty plea in July to owing one of the mothers – Sherri Black – more than US$60 000 (BDS$120 000) in child support. He’d paid just US$87.75 (BDS$175.50) over the years.
Veal’s attorney argued that he was seeking training to become employed so he could support his children.
Veal’s pleas didn’t move Miss Black, the 38-year-old mother of two of his children, aged 16 and 11, who was delighted to see him going to prison.
She said: “My daughter doesn’t even know him. I’m pleased he’s been jailed but, I’d rather have him pay the money. Now my taxes will go to support him in prison.
“When I think about it, my children were in prison, too – a prison of poverty.”
However, Loretta Noble, the mother of four of his children with whom he lives claimed he had turned over a new leaf and was trying to be a better father.
She said she’d warned him that his philandering would catch up with him, but added: “He’s trying to overcome to be a better man.”
When the Attorney General’s Office looked at Veal’s notes they discovered he’d impregnated at least one woman every year and in three of those years, he’d conceived with three women.
Assistant Attorney General Mitchell Wood said: “The Child Support Division has prosecuted thousands of felony non-support cases since its inception, but none as outrageous as this.”
He said that Veal’s behaviour warranted prison time because he was unlikely to ever make a substantial dent in what he owed, especially as there remained 14 outstanding cases against him. (Daily Mail)