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Man sentenced for perverting the course of justice and fraud

Following a West Mercia Police investigation, a man has been sentenced in connection with an incident in Hereford in November 2015.

Simon Hayes, aged 53 of Henlade, Taunton, was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court today (Tuesday 30 April).Simon Hayes Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Simon Hayes

On Saturday 7 November 2015, an American man believed to be in his seventies was found at a bus station in Hereford.

Simon Hayes flagged down an ambulance for the man and claimed he did not know him. The man himself did not know his own identity and subsquently, a national and international appeal was launched by police to try and identify him.

When questioned about the incident, Hayes denied any involvement and provided a false statement to police.

The man was subsequently identified by a member of the public who recognised his photo from an old American school yearbook.

During the investigation, it transpired that the man had earlier been brought over from America in order for him to be looked after by the state, and that Hayes knew the man's identity.

Hayes was subsequently arrested on 13 April 2016 and later charged on 23 March 2018 with perverting the course of justice and fraud.

On 11 March 2019, he appeared at Hereford Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and possession of articles for use in fraud.

He was today sentenced to a two and a half year custodial sentence for perverting the course of justice, with a six month sentence to run concurrently for fraud.

The man is now back in America where he is being cared for.

Following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Jon Roberts from West Mercia Police said: "This has been a complex and protracted investigation, which has taken years of hard work and dedication.

"West Mercia Police is committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our society from harm, and this case shows a complete lack of humanity. I'm pleased today justice has been done and Hayes has not been away to get away with his deceit.

"As well my colleagues, I'd also like to thank our partners and the public for their help with our enquiries, which has been invaluable to the investigation."

Issued: 3pm, Tuesday 30 April, HCB, Corporate Communications

Published 30/04/19