Chippenham 'conmando' who created fake military identities jailed for fraud

First published in News

A fantasist dubbed 'Conmando' for his love of the military who 'embarked in a career in fraud' has been jailed for 18 months for his latest spate of offending.

Liam O'Riain, 30, created fake military identity documents to try and get free rail and to allow him to open up bank accounts in false names.

But O'Riain, who in the past has also gone by the names Graham Eckerman and Liam Kissane, was caught by his fingerprints on a forged ID card he left behind.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that the defendant had gone into Lloyds Bank in Chippenham in September.

He asked to withdraw £1,000 from an account in the name Sgt Jeremy Wilson which had only been opened that morning at a branch in Bristol.

When he was challenged by staff he made off but left behind his forged military identity card, which had his prints on it.

Four months earlier he produced a different home made military ID card at Bristol Temple Meads railway station along with a letter claiming to allow him free use of public transport.

O'Riain, of The Tynings, Biddestone, near Chippenham, pleaded guilty to two frauds and two counts of possessing false identity document for use in fraud.

He also asked for another charge of fraud to be taken into consideration where he got £344 from HSBC with false military documentation.

She said he has a number of previous convictions for carrying out similar frauds where he claimed to be in the Army.

He got the nickname 'Conmando' in Scotland after a spate of offences where he pretended to be a Royal Marine.

At Harrow Crown Court in May 2008 he was convicted of twice having false military ID, trying to open a bank account with false documents and stealing bank details.

A year later he was jailed for 15 months of trying to open a bank account claiming to be a Royal Marine and numerous other offences.

Last June in Manchester he got 27 months after going door to door claiming he was collecting cash for Help for Heroes.

Alex Daymond, defending, said his client accepted he was looking at a jail term for what he had done.

He said when he was freed from his latest jail term he was told to live in a hostel in Bath as part of his early release licence but his housing benefit did not fully cover the rent and he had to dip into his job seeker's allowance to keep his accommodation.

As a consequence he could not save for a flat, which would have provided an address to enable him to get a job, so he ended up resorting to his old behaviour.

He said he was now living with his partner, who is supporting him, and he has the offer of work when he is released.

Jailing him Judge Douglas Field said: "In the past eight years, going back to 2005, you have committed no less than 18 previous offences of fraud and kindred offences.

"You have embarked in a career in fraud almost nonstop during that period.

"Your method in recent times is to set about producing false military identity documents, then using that to try and get services or money and try to open bank accounts and so on.

"The sentences in the past have been longer and longer but your offending has been more and more serious."

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