Latest Cases

Latest Cases

Surname: STEVENS
Christian Names: Edwin
Country: Australia
State or Province: Western Australia
City or Town: Perth
Service: Army
Case Notes:

 

Liars and valour thieves clog up our veterans compensation channels, more so during the 1980s to early 2000s, when disgraceful people were causing embarrassment to Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), with their own, and others false claims. Here are some who were involved:

"China" Hammel. www.anzmi.net/~anzminet/index.php/cheats...r-thieves/218-hammal
Harry Kirkman. anzmi.net/index.php/cheats-thieves/valour-thieves/228-kirkman
Barry Wright. anzmi.net/index.php/cheats-thieves/valour-thieves/258-wright
Joseph Brain. mail.anzmi.net/index.php/cheats-thieves/...ur-thieves/277-brain


The latest valour thief, menace and DVA "clogger" is Edwin Stevens of Perth WA. Since 2007 Stevens has been "trying it on", with DVA, Department of Defence (DoD), and the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR).

Unfortunately we have no photograph of Stevens, perhaps we may get lucky and receive one from him, or an interested party.

The crux of the matter, is that Stevens is seeking a pension for Post Traumatic Stress disorder, that he claims was caused by service in the Vietnam war in 1970, on a secret "black ops" quick deployment to Laos.

The exposure is long in detail, but it is necessary to provide a full picture of Stevens’ deceit and his motives to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs by illegal means.

All is detailed in an Administrative Appeals Tribunal dated 21 December 2020. To wit:

"1 Mr Stevens enlisted with the Australian Army in 1969 when he was 18 years of age. He was posted to the Special Air Service Regiment in November of that year, where he served until his discharge in April 1970.

5. Mr Stevens has tried to obtain confirmation of his involvement in the covert operation, but no record of his involvement could be located. Specifically, Mr Stevens sent a letter to the Australian Army which was received on 18 May 2004. However, when the Australian Army wrote back to him on 29 July 2004 the letter stated that, “I regret to advise that a thorough search of this office has failed to locate any documents which substantiate the events referred to in your enquiry”.

9. Mr Stevens has provided detailed statements to the Respondent and to the Tribunal describing the covert operation. In summary, he stated that he was deployed to Laos to assist in bombing a bridge that was close to the Vietnamese border and that he was instructed to kill the sentry (soldier guarding the bridge) with a knife while his partner set explosive charges under the bridge. In one statement dated 9 July 2019, Mr Stevens attested:

I was serving as a Trooper In the Special Air Service Regiment of the Australian Regular Army posted to the regiment's Base Squadron during the first days of February 1970. I was summoned to the Regimental Major's office where he was in company with my Squadron C. O., Major, W. Marshall and Lieutenant J. Flannery. I was ordered that in company with another Trooper I would travel to a section in Laos, a country under United Nations military sanctions and assist in the destruction of a bridge that Intelligence had identified that the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong were using to ferry soldiers, armoury, ammunition and supplies into Vietnam. I was informed that I had been recommended for this mission by Lt. Flannery who had been the C.O. of my Cadre Course and was later my C.O. when I assisted with new cadre courses during training. I asked why 3 Squadron that was currently in Vietnam couldn't do this job and was told that it was otherwise occupied therefore I was ordered to undertake this mission. I objected, pointing out that I was awaiting release from the Army, but was told that while I was in the Army I would do as ordered. I was also given the order that I was not to discuss this job with any Trooper in the Regiment or anybody else prior to the mission or after as it was not going to be officially recorded.

The intelligence gathered reported that after daylight hours there was only one sentry on the bridge and that the early hours in the morning was the best time to complete the mission. My task was to silence any bridge-sentry and search for any log books or other documentation if any. Lt. Flannery knew my night and map-reading skills were good and told me that was why I was selected to go. He, as a former Vietnam Trainer, taught me how to use a blade to silence the sentry as my partner, Jeff, was to set charges on the bridge then blow it up. Our Liaison Officer in Vietnam was a Lieutenant from 3 Squadron.

The Liaison Officer met us at Nui Dat at the start of the second week when we landed after one stop that, I presumed, was for refuelling. He issued the explosives and charges to my partner. I was given the radio, our frequency and call-sign and the Liaison Officer's call-sign. We were then driven to where a helicopter was waiting which we both boarded. There were two pilots and two gunners situated on each side of the helicopter. Once at the drop-zone we left the chopper as the vegetation was low and made it possible. We both lay on the ground after the chopper left just to ensure we were alone. We were approximately ten miles from the bridge at that time and the vegetation gave us adequate cover. The terrain was not steep so we were able to move slowly but easily. After approximately three hours we got to within 100 yards of the bridge where we set up our position under the vegetation. We lay head to toe so we had a full 360-degree vision but I was also responsible for counting the number of enemy vehicles over and back, the number of soldiers, armoury and ammunition trucks. We lay watching and recording every vehicle that went across that bridge. At night we took two-hourly breaks each to sleep and eat as during daylight hours neither of us ate or slept.

Whenever a truck full of soldiers (a platoon – 30 men) arrived at the Laos side the soldiers disembarked and once the truck was safely over to the Vietnam side of Laos the men walked across, remounted the truck and then drove off. Any truck with ammunition and a towed artillery piece behind it was guided by the bridge-sentry as the truck moved over slowly. It was obvious that this bridge was not too secure as the intelligence photos showed. In all I counted 23 trucks, approximately 400 soldiers in 13 of the trucks. There were more in the trucks that carried arms, ammunition and artillery pieces and they also dismounted leaving only the driver and remounted on the other side. I do not remember how many artillery pieces crossed that bridge as I did not keep my note pad; there were 5 to 7 from memory. Ten to twelve vehicles returned empty and went over to the Laos side. I have no idea if they returned.

On the 4th night we went to the bridge, approximately between 03.00 hours and 03.30 hours, I went to the sentry's hut and did what I was taught to do [killed the sentry with a knife]. There was no records or log-books in the hut so I searched the dead sentry. He had nothing except a packet of cigarettes, matches and a photograph of him and his wife holding their baby. I returned it to his left breast-pocket. I gave my mate a flicker of my lighter so he knew it was all clear for him to do his job. By the time I got to him he had the whole bridge set to go. Once a safe distance away he blew up the bridge and we grabbed the rest of our gear and ran, stopping every 100 yards or so to listen if the enemy was behind us and following. They were not, so we slowed to a fast walk for about a mile listening as we moved through the vegetation as we first went in - patrolling. Thankfully the vegetation in the area gave us adequate cover which made the going easier than we had anticipated. By approximately 05.00 hours we arrived back at our drop-zone ready for pick up. I called our Liaison Officer who told me we had to wait until he could get the chopper to our position for pickup. It took about two hours but when it came we mounted it and returned to Nui Dat where again, the Lieutenant was waiting in a jeep. He took our note-books and after debriefing us where we stood, he told us that they had intelligence that the NVA and VC were getting ready for a big advance on our troops so what we did may have saved some of our Diggers' lives. We were then driven to what was referred to as SAS Hill, showered, changed to clean jungle greens and socks and then fed. We returned to Campbell Barracks six days after we left where we were debriefed again by Lt. Flannery.

I spoke to my Sergeant, Ian Ramsey, about it. He informed me that being so close to Joe Flannery and seeing part of my training he knew everything I did and after we discussed it I told him that I was angry that I was ordered to do what I did and he told me, that’s the job, we all do it so suck it up and get on with it. Until my final discharge I again assisted on Cadre Courses and regimental duties."

Because I was ordered never to divulge anything to do with that job to anyone I took that order to be in force even after my discharge. I was extremely angry at what I was ordered to do with a minimum of training or preparation".

Having read all of that, here is the reason the AAT upheld the decision of the Veterans Review Board that originally rejected Steven's claims.

The effect of these provisions of the VEA is that, as there is no evidence that Mr Stevens was allotted for duty in an operational area and, he does not meet the definition of having rendered eligible war service. This in turn means that Mr Stevens’ posttraumatic stress disorder cannot be taken to be war-caused because there is no evidence that it arose out of, or was attributable to, any eligible war service that he rendered. This means that he is not eligible for a Pension.

To translate the above into veterans language. Stevens is a bullshit artist and a pathological liar.

Instances like this should be prosecuted under the Australian Defence Act 1903 Part VII Section 80A for falsely representing to be a returned soldier. That offence has a maximum penalty of $3,300 or six months imprisonment, or both.

Perhaps a few prosecutions by state police, may discourage the fraudsters, and allow those genuinely in need to get a fair go.

We are not sure what the penalty may be, for falsely claiming to blow up a bridge in Laos. The Laotians may wish to sue Stevens for wilful destruction of the bridge and murder of the guard.

We are happy to report Stevens, but because of his knife work, he is not welcome within ten kilometers of ANZMI.

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