Ex-soldier Simon Buckden set to face fraud trial

Simon Buckden
Simon Buckden
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A war veteran turned fundraiser and public speaker is to go on trial accused of fraud charges in which he is alleged to have lied about having cancer and post traumatic stress disorder.

Simon Buckden, 42, appeared before Leeds Crown Court today where he entered not guilty pleas to seven charges of fraud relating to claims he lied about the medical conditions in order to obtain cash, attend therapy sessions and have a film made about him.

All of the allegations relate to claims the ex-Royal Signalman lied about having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and cancer.

One charge relates to him making the false claims to Richard McCann, son of Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe’s first murder victim, in order to attend a skills and presentation day without paying.

Another charge relates to him claiming he had the condition to Mark Curry which resulted in a film being made about him. He is also alleged to have lied to Robert Paxman and Philip Lee in order to attend courses. Another charge relates to him making false representations to Kim Fearnley which resulted in him receiving a therapy session without paying. Two other charges relate to him making false representations to Geoff Shepherd and Gareth Boot which resulted in him obtaining sums of £2,000 and £1,591.24. The alleged offending took place between April 1 2012 and July 31 2012. Wearing a beige shirt and blue jeans, Buckden spoke only to enter the pleas.

A trial date has been set for February 22 next year. A review of the case as due to be heard at the court in September. Buckden was granted bail until the next hearing.

Buckden, who served in Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda and Northern Ireland, was medically discharged from the army after nearly 12 years of service in 2001.

He went on to become a high-profile campaigner for victims of PTSD and charity fundraiser after revealing he had been diagnosed with the condition in 2005. He was made one of the torchbearers for the Olympic flame before the London games in 2012.