Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Man who faked Army career jailed

Military historian John Livesey has been jailed for three years after faking an Army career

A military historian who faked an illustrious Army career has been jailed for three years after a court was told he suffered a disorder preventing him telling fact from fiction.

For decades John Livesey, known as Jack, told friends, colleagues and his closest family that he had served with distinction in the Parachute Regiment.

He even claimed on his website that he had advised production crews working on the film Saving Private Ryan, whereas his army career amounted to a stint in the Catering Corps between 1971 and 1974.

The 57-year-old's lies came to light following his conviction for benefit fraud in 2004 when he produced references from genuine veterans who had been taken in by him. Earlier this month he was found guilty of perverting the course of justice at Peterborough Crown Court.

Passing sentence, Judge Nic Madge said: "Much of your life since 1974 has been a lie."

Roger Harrison, in mitigation, said his client had been diagnosed with histrionic personality and dependent personality disorders. He said this meant his client could not tell "fact from fiction".

Mr Harrison said his client was physically disabled and had restricted mobility, but previous psychiatric reports found no evidence of such disorders and Judge Madge questioned Livesey's physical disabilities.

Judge Madge said: "One day after court I saw Mr Livesey near the court building and his mobility seemed significantly better than it did in court."

He added that previously medical examinations had found Livesey was prone to exaggerating his psychological and physical conditions.

As well as jailing Livesey for three years, the judge ordered that he pay £3,500 in prosecution costs.

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