Man who lied he was in SAS and guarded the Royal Family jailed for robbing dad, 94

·3-min read
Edward Stewart was jailed for robbing his dad. (SWNS)
Edward Stewart was jailed for robbing his dad. (SWNS)

A man who lied about being in the SAS and guarding the Royal Family has been jailed after robbing his World War Two hero dad.

Edward Stewart, 53, stole from his 94-year-old father David Brunton after he let him move back home when his lies had been exposed. 

He had set up a fake online profile in 2016, pretending to be a former member of the elite special forces unit “to impress women”, York Crown Court heard.

His profile claimed he had stayed with Prince William and Kate to protect Prince George from a terrorist attack and also protected actor Brad Pitt and Princess Diana.

He added he had once been on SAS missions in Syria and Afghanistan.

Princess Charlotte, with by her father, the Duke of Cambridge, and mother, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George, arriving for her first day of school at Thomas's Battersea in London.
Stewart lied he protected Prince George. (Getty)

Mr Brunton had trusted his son to manage his finances when he moved back in with him. 

But instead of looking after his ailing father, a World War Two veteran, Stewart took money from his account after being handed his bank card.

Prosecutor Matthew Collins said Stewart stole tens of thousands of pounds from Mr Brunton, which came to light after his family carried out their own internal investigation.

There had been numerous withdrawals from Mr Brunton’s bank account, allegedly over several years, and Stewart was arrested after the police were called in.

He was charged with one count of fraud and three counts of theft but denied all allegations apart from one count of stealing £1,666 from his father during a four-week spree between June and July 2019.

He was due to face trial on the other allegations, but the family made a last-minute decision not to pursue these charges and they were allowed to lie on court file.

Stewart, of Harrogate, appeared for sentence on Wednesday on the single count of theft he had admitted and was jailed for eight months.

Mr Collins said this did not mean the family accepted he was innocent of the other alleged thefts.

The remaining alleged stolen amounts would be pursued through the civil courts.

Mr Collins said Mr Brunton, who served in the Grenadier Guards during the war, had recently been ill in hospital and his condition had considerably worsened since his son’s betrayal.

Stewart had used his father’s bank card to make payments and withdrawals from cash machines, he added.

His sister Francesca Brunton launched her own investigation and Stewart admitted to his family that he had stolen the £1,666 in the summer of 2019.

Mr Collins told the court: “Repayment was arranged by direct debit at £50 per month."

However, full repayment had still not been made and had now stopped.

A general view of York Crown Court, York.   (Photo by Anna Gowthorpe/PA Images via Getty Images)
Stewart was jailed at York Crown Court. (Getty)

Ms Brunton said her father had suffered “mentally and physically” since Stewart’s “treachery”.

Her ailing father had received daily calls from his bank and bailiffs had become involved after Stewart allegedly "falsified" a standing order on his account.

This had had a “devastating” effect on her father’s “already-fragile health” which had “steeply declined” and he was now a “broken man”.

Judge Simon Hickey labelled Stewart a “complete Walter Mitty character” who had taken his father’s money for his “own selfish ends”.

Stewart, a former hotel worker, had been welcomed back into the family after his lies were exposed by internet vigilantes “The Walter Mitty Hunters Club” in 2016.

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