Simon Buckden: Former Leeds military clerk changes pleas to guilty on fraud charges

Simon Buckden.
Simon Buckden.

A FORMER military clerk has changed his pleas to GUILTY on fraud charges relating to him telling people he had cancer in order to obtain money and services.

Simon Buckden today admitted six charges of fraud on the firth day of his trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Buckden, 44, had previously denied all charges.

The jury had heard Buckden made false claims to have cancer.

Leeds Crown Court how he claimed to have served with the SAS and was invited to take part in the 2012 Olympic torch relay through Leeds after building up a reputation as a heroic fundraiser and campaigner.

The fraud charges relate to people providing money and practical help after hearing of his cancer diagnosis and being inspired by story.

Buckden changed his pleas to guilty after the court received a joint report from a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

Judge Christopher Batty discharged the jury and told Buckden he will be sentenced on Monday.

The total value of the offending is £7,700.

The charges relate to the former fundraiser telling lies about having both cancer and post traumatic stress disorder.

They relate to him making false claims about medical conditions in order to obtain cash, attend therapy sessions and having a film made about him.

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 behavioural coach 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.

The offending took place between April 1 2012 and July 31 2012.

Buckden was medically discharged from the army in 2001 on mental health grounds.

He went on to become a high-profile campaigner for victims of PTSD and a 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.

During the trial, prosecutor Craig Hassall told the jury Buckden lied about having cancer and suffering from trauma as a result of serving on the front line in war zones across the world.

He also worked as a motivational speaker, had newspaper articles written about him and maintained a high profile on social media.

The prosecutor said Buckden’s army records made no reference to service in either of Gulf wars, Rwanda or Northern Ireland.

He added: “The section which records any medals which a soldier is entitled to wear is blank. There is no mention of any service with the SAS.”

“The army records make clear that the defendant was a military clerk and there is no reference to frontline active service.”

Police obtained Buckden’s medical records and there was no mention whatsoever within them of him being diagnosed with cancer.

During the trial two former girlfriends of Buckden gave evidence in which they described how he claimed to have cancer shortly after they ended relationships with him.

One of the women, Louisa Rodrigues, told the jury how Buckden had proposed to her as he carried the Olympic through Leeds.

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