A FORMER Royal Navy officer who was EU ‘ambassador of the sea’ has been jailed for scamming his young stepson out of nearly £60,000 inheritance.
Now the family of former Lt Cdr Iain Shepherd, 56, have called for him to be stripped of his MBE after he admitted swiping the money.
Joshua Powell was ten when Shepherd, who acted as his trustee, forged his wife Mary’s signature to set up a secret bank account.
Portsmouth crown court heard that from 2006 to 2010 he siphoned off £58,895 from £83,000 Joshua was left by his late father Stephen, a ‘close friend’ of Shepherd’s in the navy.
But the scam was discovered in 2017 by Mary, who is Joshua’s mum. Falklands veteran Shepherd was jailed for three years and eight months and told to repay £19,497 after admitting fraud.
Shepherd, of Bognor Regis, West Sussex, who was acting president of Chichester Chamber of Commerce, had advised the European Commission on maritime strategy. He was awarded an MBE in 2015 for service to the maritime industry.
But Mrs Shepherd, said: ‘He is a disgrace to the armed forces, a disgrace to the navy and should be stripped of his MBE immediately.’
Joshua, now 23, who had hoped to use his inheritance to pay off his student debt, called him ‘a despicable apology of a man’ and added: ‘I’m glad he’s going to prison. It took long enough.’