A WAR veteran turned fundraiser and public speaker has appeared in court over claims he lied about his military and medical history.
Simon Buckden, of Landseer Way, Bramley, Leeds, appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday morning charged with seven counts of fraud.
All of the allegations relate to claims the ex-Royal Signalman lied about having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and cancer to obtain money and services.
Three of charges relate to allegations that he fraudulently claimed to have the illnesses to obtain cash amounts totalling more than £6,600.
The other four charges relate to claims he lied to obtain services including therapy sessions, a public speaking course and film production training.
Two of the seven charges also relate to allegations that Mr Buckden, 42, falsely claimed to have served in the SAS.
The alleged offences took place between October 14, 2009, and December 31, 2013.
Wearing a black jacket and blue jeans, bald Mr Buckden spoke only to confirm his personal details during a brief hearing.
The charges were outlined and the court heard Mr Buckden, 42, was indicating not guilty pleas.
He was told the matter was too serious to be dealt with at the magistrates’ court and the case was adjourned until April 1, when he will appear at Leeds Crown Court.
Mr 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, shortly after revealing he had been diagnosed with cancer.
He was arrested at his home in Landseer Way last August and was charged last month.