Andrew Stevenson arrives at Lismore Court for sentencing.
Andrew Stevenson arrives at Lismore Court for sentencing.

'Delusions of grandeur': Fake firey 'regrets' his actions

UPDATE, 12.30pm: A FAKE firey, who acted like a member of the emergency services during the height of the bushfires and had "delusions of grandeur", has today been given a 15-month correctional order and fined $500.

Andrew Geoffrey Stevenson, 36, of Koonorigan, recently pleaded guilty to numerous dishonesty charges against him.

Stevenson has pleaded guilty to impersonating an organisation officer to exercise a function, two counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception, having goods in custody suspected of being stolen, not obtaining a NSW licence after three months, wilfully swearing falsely in an affidavit and two counts of publishing false or misleading material to obtain an advantage.

Magistrate Jeff Linden convicted and sentenced Stevenson to a 15-month intensive corrections order for the highest charge of dishonestly obtaining property by deception.

He was also fined $500 for impersonating an RFS officer.

Mr Linden said the sentencing assessment report suggested Stevenson showed "single-mindedness, delusions of grandeur and entitlement which somewhat explains the use of RFS gear and getting the gear".

Stevenson's barrister, Peter O'Connor, said his client "regrets" his actions and will be working to establish a "stable" life in Kingaroy, Queensland, "without any interest in emergency services".

According to court documents, Stevenson provided false details to Allianz Roadside Assistance and impersonated an emergency services organisation officer last November at The Channon.

Stevenson is the director, treasurer and sole shareholder of the company NSW Bush Fire Brigades Pty Ltd.

He has several vehicles registered under his name, with some of them bearing insignia similar to that of the NSW Rural Fire Service.

On two separate occasions in November, Stevenson phoned the roadside assistance line to request "emergency fuel" for his "fire truck" which he claimed he needed to fill up with water and after he'd locked his keys in his vehicle.

But when Allianz staff questioned the legitimacy of Stevenson's claims, he named his mother, a previous employer in Victoria, and his accountant as co-directors, but this was false information.

On November 10, he drove a car bearing RFS-like insignia along Terania Creek Rd at The Channon and came across a bushfire roadblock.

Speaking to a traffic management team, he claimed he was "just getting water" and told them his name was "John".

When they saw he had no water tanks on the vehicle and was asked for ID, Stevenson said: "I have nothing to say".

Stevenson's also made false declarations for two incidents where he tried to transfer responsibility for two speeding fines to employees.

Between October and November last year, he tried to create and present a false historic vehicle declaration to gain registration through the RMS.

During a search of his Koonorigan home, police found he unlawfully possessed medical kits, helmets and vests with NSW Ambulance Service insignia at his home in November and lived in NSW for too long with an interstate drivers' licence.

The court also heard Stevenson will be seeking psychological treatment as part of a mental health plan.

The court also ordered all property relating to the charges to be forfeited.

 

Original story: A MAN accused of impersonating the Rural Fire Service is set to be sentenced today.

Andrew Geoffrey Stevenson, 36, of Koonorigan, recently pleaded guilty to numerous dishonesty charges against him.

Stevenson has pleaded guilty to impersonating an organisation officer to exercise a function, two counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception, having goods in custody suspected of being stolen, not obtaining a NSW licence after three months, wilfully swearing falsely in an affidavit and two counts of publishing false or misleading material to obtain an advantage.

One of the fraudulent incidents involved Stevenson lied his way onto a fire ground and dishonestly requested "urgent" help from an insurance company.

He remains on bail and will appear in Lismore Local Court for sentencing today.

More to come.



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