A fantasist who dumped an American friend’s father in an NHS medical center to help him dodge US medical bills was jailed yesterday following the case of the unfamiliar identification of the pensioner was resolved with an internet amateur sleuth. Simon Hayes left Roger Curry with paramedics outside Hereford Hospital, declaring he previously found the 78-year-old dementia patient in a national country lane. As well as the pensioner’s identity went unknown for months until Debbie Cocker, 48, from Manchester, spotted an image in a 1950s American school year book of an ‘Earl Roger Curry’.
Noting a striking resemblance between the pensioner and the teenager photographed she delivered the picture to the BBC’s panorama team who traced the Curry family to Whittier in Los Angeles County. Hayes, who was simply dressed in a bogus Army standard when he left Mr Curry in Hereford, refused to give his own name, saying it was a security risk because he was working at the SAS base in the town. Police spent four months trying to identify ‘Credenhill Man’ prior to the internet sleuthing skills of a charity worker uncovered his background in California.
The 53-year-old experienced stripped Mr Curry of his passport and other documents and dressed up him in British clothing to further obscure his identification. Hospital staff could not work out who their patient was and Mr Curry spoke his name just once – after he was transferred to a treatment home in the nearby village of Credenhill. Police spent four a few months trying to identify ‘Credenhill Man’ prior to the internet sleuthing skills of Ms Cocker uncovered his background in California. Mr. Curry, who went by his middle name Roger, spent nine a few months in the Credenhill care home, paid for by the taxpayer, following a stint in Hereford County Hospital which cost the NHS £20,000.
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He was properly returned to the US in 2016 and is now thought to be in a treatment home in Long Beach. Worcester Crown Court was informed that Hayes concocted the cruel plan in 2015 with Mr Curry’s kid Kevin. The pair had become best friends while sharing a flat in Los Angeles before Hayes was deported in 2013 for drink-driving. Simon Davis QC, prosecuting, said Hayes organized to meet Kevin together with his father and mother Mary-Jo at Gatwick, before generating Mr Curry the 150 mls to Hereford. Roger Curry in his 1958 high school yearbook.
Kevin Curry along with his mom Mary Jo Curry. Mr Davis said: ‘The defendant was part of a plan to bring Roger from the united states and dump him in Hereford, abandoning him so he could obtain care from local health care providers. Hayes then became a member of Kevin and his mom on a holiday to France and Denmark prior to the Americans flew home.
Jailing Hayes for two-and-a-half years last night, Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins QC said the deception got wasted ‘time and energy and public resources’. Hayes, from Taunton in Somerset, was caught after he determined himself as the person who handed over Mr Curry to paramedics. The judge said that acquiring he not contacted West Mercia Police there was ‘no certainty that he’d ever have been found’. Mr Davis said: ‘He said he had been in the SBS, and experienced Hereford for a short while – but was struggling to answer a straightforward question any serviceman would know, “what’s your Army number?