A MILITARY ‘fantasist’ helped dump a dementia-suffering American pensioner in rural England so he could be treated on the NHS.
Simon Hayes left Roger Curry, 78, with staff near Hereford Hospital, claiming he found him ‘face down’ in a country lane.
The 53-year-old, who said he had been in the elite SBS special forces unit, ‘was part of a plan to bring Roger from the US and dump him in Hereford, abandoning him so he could receive care from local health care providers,’ said prosecutor Simon Davis QC.
Hayes had been in contact with his ‘best mate’, Mr Curry’s son Kevin.
Kevin Curry, from California, flew with his parents to Gatwick Airport on November 5, 2015. Hayes, dressed in a fake military uniform and putting on a US accent, took Mr Curry to a bus station near the hospital and told medics he had found him. He claimed he could not give his contact details as he was ‘working with the SAS’ but joined Kevin Curry and his mother on holiday.
The mystery of Mr Curry’s identity — dubbed Credenhill Man after the location where he was found — triggered an international appeal involving the FBI.
In March 2016, Roger Curry managed to tell nurses his name and inquiries led to his son’s home. Kevin Curry is now under investigation in the US for elder abuse, fraud and kidnapping.
Later Hayes, for reasons which are still a mystery, identified himself as the man who handed the victim to medics but claimed to be a ‘Canadian Army serviceman’ who was ‘attending a course at the SAS base’.
When he was arrested, he told detectives he was with the SBS — but could not give an Army number. In jailing him for two-and-a-half years, Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins QC said the crime was a ‘well-planned deception’.
Hayes, of Taunton, in Somerset, had already admitted perverting the course of justice and a separate fraud over a false character reference.