It is the bizarre story of the two "John Moores": the fraudulent one sitting in the dock claiming not to remember his name and the real one sitting anonymously in the public gallery, eager to set eyes on the impostor who stole his identity.A reader has sent a link to a page with several pictures of that baby hippo adopted by a tortise. Another sends a baby platypus picture.
Middlesex crown court was the scene last week of a case which will go down in legal history because police took the rare step of going to court even though a two-year investigation was unable to uncover the defendant's identity.
Meanwhile, the real John Moore, 46, an IT manager from Uxbridge, attended the hearing because he wanted "closure" on a case which has haunted him for 14 years.
The mysterious fraudster, a Scotsman believed to be in his 40s, was examined by four amnesia experts: two concluded he was faking his condition, while two others believed that he was suffering from memory loss.
Mr Moore told yesterday how he had first encountered difficulties in 1991 when he had a call from the police saying that a vagrant who had been arrested identified himself as "John Moore". The man was not charged. The police later informed Mr Moore that he should not encounter further difficulties.
However, in 2001 his tax code kept altering even though his circumstances had not changed. Then his medical records disappeared from his local surgery after the fraudster apparently asked for them to be switched to a GP in central London.
Finally, in 2003, Mr Moore received a letter from Westminster council over alleged benefit fraud in his name.
After the hearing, Mr Moore said: "It was a bit spooky looking at a man who had claimed to me. It was surreal but I did feel sympathy for him because he looked nervous and scared."
This weekend the Sunday Telegraph traced the impostor to a flat close to the Houses of Parliament. He answered the intercom to the name of John Moore and allowed a reporter into his flat. Sitting in his squalid living room, he said: "My name is John Steven Moore, at the moment." When asked to explain, he said: "That may not be the case after January when the final hearing will take place. I am not ready to tell my story until then. I want the truth to come out."
Sunday, December 11, 2005
In the news...
From the Telegraph