A man who claimed he taught Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith how to shoot has allegedly been caught out lying about being a returned serviceman.
Kenneth Franks faced Goondiwindi Magistrates Court Thursday charged for impersonating a returned serviceman in regional Queensland, Courier Mail reported.
During a raid of the 49-year-old’s home, police officers said they seized a host of military paraphernalia after he fronted ANZAC Day with an impressive collection of medals.
Kenneth Franks (pictured) faced Goondiwindi Magistrates Court Thursday charged for impersonating a returned serviceman in regional Queensland
He faces charges of falsely representing to be a returned soldier, sailor or airman and improper use of service decorations.
Franks wore 10 medals to this year’s service, according to locals, and claimed he was a former SAS soldier.
Goondiwindi RSL vice president Bill Brasington said his suspicions were first raised when Franks wore a hat with a Special Air Service Regiment badge on a visit to the town’s ANZAC badge-sellers.
‘He said he was an SAS fella and had been deployed everywhere, everywhere overseas — you name it, but he said it was all a secret,’ Mr Brasington said.
Franks claimed he taught Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith (centre) how to shoot
‘He said he taught Ben Roberts-Smith how to shoot his rifle. Then he showed up at the dawn service this year and he had medals from Bosnia and a US valor medal, which was the second-highest decoration.’
‘When he said SAS you sort of look up to them because it’s a really top ladder regiment.’
On further investigation, Mr Brasington fount the military number Franks gave to the RSL wasn’t listed and there was no record of him serving in the national military.
He said Franks also showed him weapons, including a minigun, a .50-calibre sniper rifle and about 10 pistols.
Mr Brasington fount the military number Franks (pictured) gave to the RSL wasn’t listed and there was no record of him serving in the national military
Franks even went and spoke about his time in the defence force at his local Men’s Shed.
Serious penalties, including six months jail, could apply for people who commit military fraud, according to Criminal defence lawyer and Iraq and East Timor veteran Dave Garratt.
Mr Garratt said it was ‘extremely disrespectful’ to legitimate servicemen and women to falsely pose as an ex-soldier.
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