Anecdotally, though, the numbers are on the rise. British testing firm DNA Clinics analysed 5,000 results selected randomly from between January 2014 and June 2016, and discovered 51 per cent of English men had been ruled out as being the paternal father of children they had been tested for a genetic link to.
This increase in cuckolded men discovering they have been deceived is, according to Terrell and other legal experts in the field, due to home DNA testing kits being “much more prevalent,” he explains. Now widely available online for under £100, it means we have more conclusive genetic evidence about where we came from than ever before.
“DNA testing is much more prevalent, much cheaper and that is why these cases will increase,” he says.
Prior to Richard Mason, Terrell’s most high profile case was a client called Richard Rodwell. In 2013, the then 46-year-old factory manager made headlines after being awarded £25,000 in damages against his former wife after DNA tests revealed their 20-year-old daughter and her 18-year-old brother were not his biological children. Following his 2005 divorce, Rodwell paid out £15,600 in maintenance for the children before finding out they were not his.
When they discovered the truth, they cut all ties with him. He spoke of suffering from depression in the fallout and feeling as if he had endured a bereavement; whatever money he had secured following the legal battle, he said, could never expunge the grief.