Disgraced Royal Navy officer has MBE stripped off him by the Queen after stealing stepson's inheritance

A DISGRACED naval officer and former EU ‘ambassador of the sea’ has been stripped of a top royal honour for stealing almost £60,000 of his stepson’s inheritance.

Monday, 19th October 2020, 12:44 pm
Updated Monday, 19th October 2020, 1:25 pm

Conniving conman Iain Shepherd has had his MBE status revoked after being jailed for fraud last year.

The 66-year-old retired Lieutenant Commander had received the honour from Prince William during a prestigious ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2015.

But a notice in The Gazette announced the Queen had approved the decision for the Falkland veteran to have his honour ‘cancelled and annulled’ and his name ‘erased from the register’.

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Iain Shepherd receives his MBE from Prince William during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

His former wife Mary Shepherd, of Whyke Road, Chichester, had campaigned for the disgraced naval officer to be stripped of the award.

Reacting to the Queen's decision, she said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted his MBE has been taken away. He should never have been awarded it because he was an undeclared bankrupt, a liar and a cheat.’

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Iain Shepherd, centre, pictured with his former wife Mary and stepson Joshua Powell

The ‘devious’ scheme first began in December 2006 when Joshua, who has learning disabilities, was just 10.

Shepherd, of Aldwick Road, Bognor Regis, had been bankrupt when he took charge of Joshua’s money – £83,255.82 in all.

The fraudster, who advised the European Commission on the continent's maritime strategy, forged his wife's signature to set up a secret bank account in a desperate bid to secure cash.

Over a period of three years Shepherd pocketed Joshua's inheritance, which he was given after the death of his father, Stephen Powell – who was a 'close friend' of Shepherd's in the navy.

Iain Shepherd, 56, of Bognor Regis, has been jailed for three years and eight months after pleading guilty to stealing more than £58,000 from his stepson's inheritance. Pictured is: Mary Shepherd with her son Joshua Powell. Picture: Sarah Standing (090719-3773)

The sailor’s scam was only exposed a decade later by his wife, Mary Shepherd, after she became suspicious.

The veteran, who was in the navy for 21 years, pleaded guilty to fraud during a hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court last year.

Speaking after Shepherd was jailed, his ex-wife said: ‘He is absolutely despicable. What he has done is beyond words. He is a heartless, callous, sociopath. He is the lowest of the low and deserves to be in prison.’

Prosecutor Mike Mason told the court how Shepherd had been ‘living a second life’ during his crime spree, running his own business, Marcom Defence, in Chichester, and acting as the president of the Chichester Chamber of Commerce.

He later became an EU ‘ambassador of the sea’, a job which saw him working with the European Commission on the continent’s overall maritime strategy – a role which contributed to him being awarded MBE in 2015.

Shepherd is currently finishing his three years and eight months jail sentence at Ford Open Prison, in West Sussex.

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