Williams

Surname: Williams
Christian Names: Leonard Richard
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Coffs Harbour
Service: Army Reserves
Case Notes:

 

Leonard Richard Williams aka "Lying Lenny" [BM]

 

 

Editors note
Many thanks to Louise Croaker for her email shown in the update for Len.  Please Read the site story as we originally had it on here and then at the bottom of the page you will see Louise's email and our answers to her queries.  Without your assistance we probably would have overlooked the items we have now included.

After retiring from the Army Reserve in Sydney he moved to Coffs Harbour and set about portraying himself as a war Veteran purely to establish himself as a man of action.

He never made an actual claim of service or wore unearned decorations but he gave the impression that he was at the Battle of Long Tan and is a returned Soldier.

He joined every conceivable Military based association and club and when he ran out of these due to being forced out because of his antics, he formed his own branch of the NSW National Serviceman’s Association. He was not a National Serviceman but this didn’t stop him. He took in genuine former Nasho's and those who never served in any branch of the Military, women and generally anyone off the street. We could equate this to having a club for Redheads and allowing Brunettes and Blondes to join. The membership numbers racket.

Why would he do this? Because in the end he got to be the president of something, an association based vaguely on Military service.

Read more about Williams and his attention grabbing antics Sun Times Brisbane

Williams spent some 20 years in the Army Reserve. We have a video of him stating,

“Regimental Number 2245511. Squadron Sergeant Major retired. I served with 30 Terminal Squadron and 10 Terminal Regiment”

Len served with 33 Terminal Squadron which was a sub unit of 10 Terminal Regiment. 33 Terminal Squadron was an Army Reserve Unit. Len did not serve with 30 Terminal Squadron which was a Regular Army unit. It was at this time that he picked up the nickname "Lying Lenny" He was never in the Regular Army.

October Long Weekend 1993, a Viet Nam Veterans Muster was held at Yamba.

Len Williams stepped in front of the President of the Viet Nam Veterans Association and led the Viet Nam Veterans March. Len Williams had been in the CMF for nearly 20 years, he certainly knew the protocol involved and still he deliberately stepped in front of the President to lead the March. This was greeted with great indignation by the real Viet Nam Veterans both at the march and by the Viet Nam Veterans who watched the news coverage at home.

A Channel 10 video shows Williams in an after parade interview saying.

“More importantly for our fellow Australian Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen who cannot and never will be able to attend a Service like this because they were called upon to make the Supreme sacrifice.  “And WE are now part of Australian Military History. And may I remind you that nobody but nobody can take that honour away from US collectively or as individuals”

Williams had a very good opportunity to serve his country overseas during the Viet Nam War but chose not too. He didn’t want to be with US then and he’s not going to be with US now. WE don’t want him in our ranks.

May 1998...Len Williams, who is neither a Viet Nam Veteran nor was he an associate member of the Viet Nam Veterans Association at the time, planted a tree and placed a huge rock in the Viet Nam Veterans Park without permission. The Veterans were furious.

Len Williams was the secretary/caretaker of the Coffs Harbour Branch of the National Servicemen’s Association NSW then. He claimed he was the President; he wasn’t. The Coffs Harbour Council resolved to move the tree and rock from Veterans’ Park and Len Williams was ordered to write an apology to the Viet Nam Veterans, he didn’t

Len Williams visited John Paul College. Len showed the principal and two students his personal mementoes of the Battle of Long Tan. Prior to the visit Len had invited the Advocate Newspaper photographer to attend for a photo opportunity and once again created the illusion of being a war Veteran.   The caption under the photograph reads.Students “experience” Viet Nam War “Students from John Paul College have had the benefit of personal mementoes from the battle of Long Tan in Viet Nam lent by Veteran Len Williams for a project the students are doing. The mementoes included a shield with the manning details from South Viet Nam, New Zealand and Australia and a videotape of interviews with people involved in the battle. Mr Williams second from left showed the material to the school’s new principal and students.” (The names of the Principal and students have been removed from this caption)  

Notice the print of a famous painting in a frame on the table. It’s a print of Bruce Fletcher’s Battle of Long Tan. This and the other items on the table are not the property of Williams; they belong to a genuine survivor of the Battle. The owner testified in court that he had given the items to Williams as a gift.

Len Williams had not been on the Executive of Coffs Harbour RSL Sub-Branch since 1995 and had no reason to wear an RSL nametag, tie and RSL Badge. This gave the impression that he was still on the executive of Coffs Harbour RSL. The nametag reads “Mr Len Williams BM, Coffs Harbour RSL Sub-Branch” He had this name tag made for him. Actual members of the RSL wear business card sized  ID in plastic holders.

                            

You will also notice that he wears a bullion patch on his beret that should only be worn by Colonel's and above. Len later admitted in court that he sewed the patch onto the beret some 10 years ago.  As a 20 year CMF serving member, Williams would have been fully aware of the protocols and implications of wearing this bullion badge and the impression it would have created on the knowing general public.  The wearing of more than one badge on a beret at any time is also against all protocol, is illegal and unless the mans name is Montgomery, or he considers himself in the same class, he does not have an entitlement to wear a beret displaying the badges he does. 

                             

He has attended just about every occasion that has a Military theme, a 1 RAR reunion, a Rats of Tobruk reunion, a Viet Nam Veteran’s dinner dance and others, usually uninvited but he’d follow on the coat-tails of a genuine Veteran to heighten his profile in the community.

Concerned Veterans had finally had enough of Williams and they published documents objecting to his behaviour. Williams sued them and the wife of one of these ex-service personnel for defamation.

Len likes to sue people and sometimes won but this time he lost badly when other ex-service people gave evidence to support these published documents and confirm the fact that he is an old fraud.   The Veteran population have had enough of frauds and those who steal their service for their own means. Sunday Telegraph Brisbane newspaper article.

 

Williams was ordered by the court to pay his and the defendant’s costs which amount to tens of thousands of dollars. He didn’t pay a cent and the last that was seen of him was his back as he was leaving town. He did not display the courage he supposedly possesses.   

Why is Lenny here on the site? He is more than just a poseur, he is a vindictive trouble-maker. He attempted to disgrace a genuine Veteran by publicly claiming that the Veteran was wearing un-awarded decorations. He also complained to a Member of Parliament that the publishers of the damning documents did not deserve the TPI [Totally, Permanently Incapacitated] compensation payments that they receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs as compensation for war caused disabilities. These complaints were groundless and the MP told him so.

The following is a statement from someone who assisted in this investigation.

“What I really think though is that Len is trying to make a mockery of the Viet Nam Veterans because he covets the supposed glory that he perceives Viet Nam Veterans to have.”

Run “Lying Lenny” run. You’ll start up with your rubbish again somewhere and we’ll find you.

You will not be permitted a minute’s peace until you apologise to the genuine, dedicated members of your former community to whom you caused so much stress, strain and for some, financial hardship.

Len, an apology to CPMH will not change a thing; you are not the Veteran you wish to be and the story of your posturing will remain here for the rest of your life. Veterans are offered the chance to apologise and have their names removed. You are not a Veteran.

Late info; Williams has transferred his RSL membership to Yamba RSL and has redirected his mail to his son's address. He has been seen at Mudgereeba RSL and borrowing money.

He owes $63,000 in court costs, his and the people he sued for telling the truth. Keep running Lenny, the Australian Veteran community is small and you've got nowhere to hide.

In all fairness to Louise, who appears to have put a lot of passion into the email below, we have reproduced it in total including the spelling mistakes.  After reading this and to help show our new discoveries the email has been broken down into sections and the answers for Louise are below her inquiries/questions.  Again Louise, on behalf of our investigative staff we thank you for reading the pages and bringing these important facts to us for clarification.
 

-----Original Message-----

From: Louise Croaker  email address removed as a courtesy to Louise.

Sent: Saturday, 11 October 2003 10:26 PM

To: file@cpmh.net

Subject: LEN WILLIAMS AKA LYING LENNY

Although I agree your website is doing a great job to weed out the wannabees

and have-nots from our military........ I would like to make a statement

regarding Len Williams. Although I served as a reservist in 33 terminal

squadron, I also served with both 10 terminal squadron and 30 terminal

squadron on occasions, as was part of our affiliation with these two

squadrons. First of all, Coffs Harbour is not Len Williams "adopted town",

as he was born raised, eduacated and worked in Coffs Harbour, and has a

large family history in this town.

As your article says "Len Williams stepped in front of the Vietnam Veterans

association and led the Vietnam Veterans march". This statement has been

totally misconstrued. It was actually alledged in court that Len stepped in

front of one of the high dignatories in an Anzac day march in Coffs Harbour.

This was refuted by the dignatory in question.

Lens joining of all conceivable miltary clubs and associations was due to

his love of the military system and at the request of the people involved in

his one and only law suit regarding anything military.

Len was never "forced out" of any of these military associations, Len either

resigned or was voted out due to the democratic way our society runs through

voting.

Len did not form his own branch of the National Servicemans Association of

Australia, of which I am a member, he was asked. I also am not a National

Serviceman. Len refused the first invitation to start the Association, but

upon frequent requests, he agreed, but made it known from the very beginning

that he was neither a Vietnam Veteran or a National Serviceman. As regards

to your articles comments about Len "taking anyone off the street to join

the sub-branch", All members are either ex-National Servicemen or army

reservists (which are associate members), and their wives, which is

allowable under constitution of the National Servicemens Association of NSW.

Len was voted in as president of the Coffs Harbour Branch of the National

Servicemens Association of NSW by the democratic way of voting, which we are

all entitled to as Australians.

Len Williams has never claimed to be in the regualr army, However his unit

has worked in conjunction with the 30 Terminal Squadron and 10 terminal

regiment as Sqadron Sergeant Major. As you are probably well aware, once in

unform, it does not matter wether you are regular army or reservists,

proptocol and ranking structures well exist. As one example of being

involved with both regular army units was the embarkation and deployment of

troops on an exercise involving not only the above mentioned regular army

units but also the HMAS Tobruk.

“More importantly for our fellow Australian Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen who

cannot and never will be able to attend a Service like this because they

were called upon to make the Supreme sacrifice. “And WE are now part of

Australian Military History. And may I remind you that nobody but nobody can

take that honour away from US collectively or as individuals” The above statment, made by Len, was directed to ALL military personnel,

both regular army and reservists alike. As anyone with any military history

know, World war one was fought by volunteers, AKA reservists.

Although Len did not serve in Vietnam, he did play an important role as a

reservist. During the Vietnam War, as I am aware, there was a dock strike.

Len aided in the loading of vital supplies of the Japarret ( spelling may

not be accurate) in his capacity as a qualified freight handler.

The "rock and tree planting" was performed with the full approval of the

Coffs Harbour council, who owns the land. Although Len was not, at this

time, a member of the Vietnam Veterans Association, to my knowledge, he was

asked AGAIN to be on the board of the Vietnam Veterans Association. The

planting and the placement of the rock was to be for all Vietnam Veterans

who died during this conflict, of which his brother was one.

The placing of the rock and the planting of the tree did NOT infuriate All

Vietnam Veterans, but was accepted by the majority, but then again, a

minority of jealous people, who did not think of it first, protested.

The "John Paul College" article, which was printed incorrectly by the

reporter, was retracted by Len Williams in the next issue. The young girl in

the article was summoned to court and did state that Len did not say he was

a Long Tan Vet.

The momentos in question from the battle fo "long Tan" were given to Len by

a long standing friend, who was in fact a Long Tan Vet, and still holds Len

in the highest regards, even following the allogations made about Len.

As a member of the RSL myself, under the constitution of the RSL myself, you

are entitlted to wear ties and badges. The nametag in question was worn by

Len when he was a member of the RSL sub-branch board, this badge has not

been worn since. The "business card identification" the articel talks about,

I have NOT seen worn by any member of the board.

In regards for wearing the "Bullion Badge", the person who submitted this

article to you, should be fully aware (that is if they are fully military

complacement) that the badge was in fact a WOII insignia. The fact that it

was worn on a beret should be inconsequential as Len had been out of the

service for some time. The wearing of the RACT badge over the top of the

WOII badge should not be regarded as anything more than national pride.

On his "attendance of military occasions", these have always been on written

request or invitation only. Len will not and has not attended any occasion

without invitation.

Len Williams'court case was executed on three people only, who suffer from

professional jealousy, from Lens medals. It is well known that the 3 people

in question during the court case are very jeolous of Len's 3 medals, in

which to my understanding is the only combination of therse 3 medals in

existance.

Len has never said he was a Vietnam Veteran, he has always clained that he

was Citizens Military Forces, which was changed to Army Reserves. The people

named in this court case were also aware that Len was never a Vietnam

Veteran, and have known this for a number of years, as Len has worked side

by side by one of the people in a military fashion.

Len has not left or run out of Coffs Harbour as depicted in your article,

nor has he used his sons postal address, nor has he borrowed money.

"He is more than just a poseur, he is a vindictive trouble-maker. He

attempted to disgrace a genuine Veteran by publicly claiming that the

Veteran was wearing un-awarded decorations. He also complained to a Member

of Parliament that the publishers of the damning documents did not deserve

the TPI [Totally, Permanently Incapacitated] compensation payments that they

receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs as compensation for war

caused disabilities. These complaints were groundless and the MP told him

so."

In regards to this statement, the Veteran who was wearing unawardede

decoarations was not publicly declared by Len, but by a Vietnam Veteran who

not only ripped the unawarded decorations from the Veteran in question but

assaulted him for wearing unawarded decorations. The TPI in question was

also taken and cut from a prominent member of the Coffs Harbour RSL as he

fradulently claimed his pension, as he was not as incapacitated as he

claimed. This is public knowledge and is available through the court system.

Len is not runnig or hiding from any of these people, as all of these

allogations made by these people are false.

Although your site, as I said at the bginning, will weed out the unjust and

the frauds, this is an unjust statement towards Len Williams, who has at no

time said, alledged or passed himself off as a Vietnam Veteran. I think your

site should investigate such allogations more thouroughly before such

slander is printed against an individual.

I am entitled to wear 3 medals for my service in the army reserves. I wouild

be infuriated if someone came and said that I was not entitled to wear those

medals which I have earned.

In summation, get your facts straight before bad mouthing a great

Australian.

and so you see her email reproduced in total.  Now to break it down and explain or answer the questions posed.

The following is from the email written by Louise Croaker

Although I agree your website is doing a great job to weed out the wannabees and have-nots from our military........ I would like to make a statement regarding Len Williams. Although I served as a reservist in 33 terminal squadron, I also served with both 10 terminal squadron and 30 terminal squadron on occasions, as was part of our affiliation with these two squadrons.

The following is from the website

“Regimental Number 2245511. Squadron Sergeant Major retired. I served with 30 Terminal Squadron and 10 Terminal Regiment”

Len served with 33 Terminal Squadron, which was a sub unit of 10 Terminal Regiment. 33 Terminal Squadron was an Army Reserve Unit. Len did not serve with 30 Terminal Squadron, which was a Regular Army unit. It was at this time that he picked up the nickname "Lying Lenny" He was never in the Regular Army.

CPMHcomments

Len Williams had stated on video that he had served with 30 terminal squadron.

This was a lie as 30 terminal squadron was a regular army unit and Len Williams was never, ever in the regular army. Len Williams finally admitted in court that he didn’t serve with 30 Terminal Squadron which was a regular army unit.

The following is from pages 42 , 43 and 44 of The Judgement brought down by Judge J C Gibson on 3rd April 2003.

d)          1991 Old Diggers and World War II Veterans Luncheon

Page 42

112.           Unlike the evidence of the plaintiffs conduct and participation in marches, the plaintiff's conduct on this occasion was direct evidence of an attempt to portray himself as a Veteran. The plaintiff was shown video of the annual luncheon for Veterans hosted by the Coffs Harbour RSL Sub‑Branch. On the video tape (Ex 9) of this function, the plaintiff is clearly seen and heard describing himself as "regimental number 2245511" and "Squadron Sergeant Major Len Williams B.M. retired".


Page 43
 

113.    It was put to the plaintiff that these statements clearly inferred he was retired from the Army. He responded that he was retired from the Australian Army Reserve, which he considered perfectly appropriate (day 2, T‑57‑8).

 114.    However, the _ plaintiff is also heard on the video saying "I served with the Royal Australian Engineers from 1966 to 1976". It was put to the plaintiff he had never served with RAE from 1966‑76 but the plaintiff claimed (wrongly) it was in his service record (T‑58). The plaintiff did not serve with the RAE from 1966 to 1976 as claimed, and his service record makes this clear.

 115.    The plaintiff is also heard on the video tape saying he served with the Royal Australian Corps of Transport from 1974 to 1985 and was "Squadron Sergeant Major of 30 Terminal Squadron" (T‑58). The plaintiff described this second assertion as follows:


"That is true sir, that was a slip of the tongue and I just kept going. It was an in‑house function; we'd all had a nice dinner with a few wines and I never thought ... that 10 or 15 hours [sic] down the track that in‑house video would be used in a Court case, I was never advised of that, but as soon as I said 30 Terminal Squadron sir, I just kept going, I just glossed over it".(T-58)

 

 116.    This is one of several occasions when the plaintiff said that conduct of this kind by him arose out of a mistake, although on other occasions (such as his 1999 visit to John Paul College) he said the mistake was made by others and not by him.

 117.         The plaintiff agreed that 30 Terminal Squadron was "regular army" and that it was "incorrect" (T‑59, line 17) to say he was a member. He denied, however, that he was indicating to those present that he had performed overseas service (T‑59).

118.        The plaintiff's counsel in his written submissions submits that even if I do not accept that the plaintiff made "a slip of the tongue" the evidence cannot establish that the plaintiff attempted to pass himself off as a Vietnam Veteran "or as a Veteran of any sort". I do not accept the plaintiffs explanation of "a slip of the tongue" or that he is not attempting to pass himself off as a Veteran "of any sort". This video tape is evidence of the plaintiff publicly intimating to other Veterans at a Veterans' function that he is also a Veteran. His continued practice of wearing the badges of these squadrons is further evidence that he has continued to hold himself out as a Veteran who belonged to regular army units. I have set out further below (in the section on the plaintiff's credit) my~ reasons for not accepting the plaintiffs "slip of the tongue" on this and other occasions.

 119.     It has to be said that the plaintiff did not, on this occasion, claim to be a Vietnam Veteran. However, viewed in context when examining the plaintiff's conduct on other occasions and in particular his association with Vietnam commemorations, it is part of the plaintiff's ongoing representation of himself not merely as an Army Veteran but as a Veteran who served in Vietnam. The circumstances of the plaintiff attempting to pass himself off need to be viewed as a series of related events, rather than 'splitting up occasions when the plaintiff wore a particular badge, or marched in a particular march. However, it must be stressed that without the actual circumstances of later events where the plaintiff actually did represent himself as a Vietnam Veteran, these earlier occasions would not of themselves be sufficient to establish the plaintiff attempted to pass himself off as a Veteran who actually served in Vietnam, as opposed to a person who served in the armed services.

Comments from Louise Croaker

First of all, Coffs Harbour is not Len Williams "adopted town",as he was born raised, eduacated and worked in Coffs Harbour, and has a large family history in this town.

CPMHcomments

Len was born and educated in CoffsHarbour and he returned to Coffs after he left the railway.

Comments from Louise Croaker


As your article says "Len Williams stepped in front of the Vietnam Veterans association and led the Vietnam Veterans march". This statement has been totally misconstrued. It was actually alledged in court that Len stepped in front of one of the high dignatories in an Anzac day march in Coffs Harbour.
This was refuted by the dignatory in question.

CPMHcomments

This was a complete lie as Mr Erwin Hodikin and Mr Trevor Blay testified in court that Len Williams had stepped in front of Erwin who was the President of the Coffs Harbour Association of Vietnam Vets. News coverage of Len Williams leading the March was shown on a Channel 10 news coverage, which was also shown in court. We have included information from the website and also we have included the page numbers of the Judgement when the Judge handed down her decision.

The following is from the website

October Long Weekend 1993, a Viet Nam Veterans Muster was held at Yamba.

Len Williams stepped in front of the President of the Viet Nam Veterans Association and led the Viet Nam Veterans March. Len Williams had been in the CMF for nearly 20 years, he certainly knew the protocol involved and still he deliberately stepped in front of the President to lead the March. This was greeted with great indignation by the real Viet Nam Veterans both at the march and by the Viet Nam Veterans who watched the news coverage at home.

CPMH comments

The President of the Coffs Harbour group of the Vietnam Veterans, Erwin Hodikin testified in court that Len had stepped in front of him to lead the March. The writer of the letter was certainly not in court and if she was referring to Erwin as a high dignitary, Erwin certainly agreed that Len had stepped in front of him.

Mr Trevor Blay also testified in court as to Len Williams leading the march.

The incident was also on the Channel 10 news coverage, which was shown in court.

Page 49 of the Judgement

137.      I note Mr Blay in his evidence (T‑302, 4/12/02) said he considered the plaintiff deliberately led the march.

 138.     The inquiry came about after complaints from Veterans after the broadcast went to air. Mr Porter (the Veteran the plaintiff denied calling an "old drunk") wrote a letter of complaint to the Vietnam Veterans' Association saying, inter alia: '`

"I believe his actions on this day were an embarrassment not only to me but to the whole Association in the yes of visiting members and presidents of various Vietnam groups. His actions on this occasion warrant an apology to our members and an undertaking that he will not take it upon himself to represent our Association in this manner" (Ex 1).
 

139.     What Mr Porter was complaining about was that the plaintiff was acting as though he was a Vietnam War Veteran. That was his impression and, having seen the broadcast, I consider it a reasonable one, even if the plaintiff had said the additional words the plaintiff claims he said.
 

140.     The ordinary reasonable listener to the Channel 10 broadcast and indeed any person seeing the plaintiff lead the march could reasonably infer that the plaintiff by his words and deeds was holding himself out as a Vietnam Veteran. I am of the view that the plaintiff did so deliberately and with intention to deceive, knowing that his words and actions were likely to be broadcast by Channel 10. I should add that I do not accept he spoke the additional words he claims, by reason of my general findings concerning the plaintiffs lack of credit.

Page 46 of the Judgement

(h)         October Long Weekend 1993 ‑ Vietnam Veterans Muster at Yamba

128.     This was the occasion when the plaintiff stepped in front of the president, Mr Irwin Hodikin and led the Vietnam Veterans march to the Cenotaph where a service was held. There was an inquiry into this matter and at the time, showing the generosity and compassion that is a hallmark of all of the conduct of the retired servicemen who gave evidence in these proceedings on behalf of both parties, the plaintiff's explanation was accepted and he received a letter from Mr Hodikin saying he was excused on the basis that the whole thing was an accident.

Comments from Louise Croaker

Lens joining of all conceivable miltary clubs and associations was due to his love of the military system and at the request of the people involved in his one and only law suit regarding anything military.

Len was never "forced out" of any of these military associations, Len either resigned or was voted out due to the democratic way our society runs through voting.

CPMH comments

Len Williams had stepped in front of the President of the Coffs Harbour Vietnam Veterans Association at Yamba in 1993.   Len Williams stepped up next to the Mayor of Coffs Harbour, John Smith and the Deputy Mayor,  Brigadier John Essex Clarke [retired], in November 1994 to take the salute at a Remembrance Day Parade. Len Williams was the Senior Vice President of the Coffs Harbour RSL during 1993 and 1994. People’s attitude towards Len Williams changed and he was not even nominated for a position on the executive of Coffs RSL in February 1995.  Peter Millett was elected as Senior Vice President.

The following is from Page 50 of the Judgement

13 November 1994 ‑ Remembrance Day March

142.     This was the occasion when the plaintiff was listed on the program as the protocol officer (day 2, T‑73) whose job was essentially to usher official guests to their seats. The salute was to be taken on the steps of the Civic Centre by the Mayor, John Smith, and the Deputy Mayor; Brigadier John Essex‑Clark (Retired). It was the evidence of Brigadier Essex‑Clark and others that the plaintiff positioned himself on the steps of the Civic Centre and then took the official salute, along with the Mayor and Brigadier Essex Clark.
 

143.     The evidence was that Brigadier Essex‑Clark stood to take the salute from the parade, the plaintiff walked up and stood with him and the Mayor to take the salute (day 4, T‑75; day 7, T‑314; day 3, T‑206). Mrs Millett, the third defendant, showed in the witness box the physical action she saw the plaintiff make. There was considerable evidence of the outraged reaction of the other persons attending the parade (day 3, T‑206; day 4, T‑76; day 7, T‑299, 314, 316, 361).

 

144.     The plaintiff vigorously denied attempting to take the salute and in written submissions counsel for the plaintiff pointed to geographical inconsistencies in the evidence of some witnesses as to where the events actually occurred.
 

145.Evidence was given by Brigadier Essex‑Clark which impressed me by its objectivity and honesty (day 7, T‑314‑6 ‑ the day in question and T‑319‑320) He gave a very clear description of the plaintiff's conduct. I accept Brigadier Essex‑Clark as a witness of truth and prefer Brigadier Essex Clark's evidence


Page 51
 

146.     As this was a Remembrance Day march, Veterans from all major conflicts were attending. The ordinary reasonable person watching the plaintiff take the salute would conclude he was not merely a Veteran but a War Veteran and would also, by reason of his age, assume him to be a Veteran of Vietnam.

The plaintiff s conduct on this day is hard to comprehend other than as a wish to be seen as one of the persons deserving respect on that day as a war Veteran. As such, he must be seen as. having sought to pass himself off as a War Veteran of the Vietnam era.
 

(k)       February ‑ April 1995 ‑ Failure to stand for election for Coffs Harbour RSL and resignation from Vietnam Veterans Association

147.      In February ,1995 the first defendant was re‑elected president of the Coffs

Harbour RSL and the second defendant was elected as senior vice president,

replacing the plaintiff. It was put to the plaintiff that he stood unsuccessfully

as President in 1995 but was not elected to any position (day 2, T‑76). The

plaintiff said he did not even nominate for a position on the Executive of the

Coffs Harbour RSL. In addition, in April 1995 he resigned from the Vietnam

Veterans Association where he had been protocol officer. Although the

plaintiff said this was a "personal choice" (T‑76) it is clear ,that his ceasing to

hold office in the RSL and resignation from the Vietnam Veterans Association

is linked to the reaction to his conduct, in particular his conduct on 13

November 1994. The plaintiffs withdrawal meant that he was no longer on

the Executive of the RSL and he was thus no longer, a de:egate of the North

Coast District Council. This is of some importance because it indicates that he

was essentially a rank and file RSL member and not a person with any

executive status entitled to wear executive lapel badges or to represent the

RSL. Nevertheless he continued to do so (day 2, T‑80 line 40), including on

the day he visited the John Paul College.

Comments from Louise Croaker

Len did not form his own branch of the National Servicemans Association of Australia, of which I am a member, he was asked. I also am not a National Serviceman. Len refused the first invitation to start the Association, but upon frequent requests, he agreed, but made it known from the very beginning that he was neither a Vietnam Veteran nor a National Serviceman. As regards to your articles comment about Len "taking anyone off the street to join the sub-branch", All members are either ex-National Servicemen or armyreservists (which are associate members), and their wives, which is
allowable under constitution of the National Servicemen’s Association of NSW.
Len was voted in as president of the Coffs Harbour Branch of the National Servicemens Association of NSW by the democratic way of voting, which we are all entitled to as Australians.

Len Williams has never claimed to be in the regualr army,

CPMH comments

Len Williams certainly stated on video that he was in the Regular Army (see previous evidence and comments)

Len Williams after being banned from the Coffs Harbour National Servicemen’s Association formed his own association, which is the Coffs Harbour Association of National Servicemen (NSW Inc). This was because the real National Servicemen had left the original association and formed their own association.

Ron Brown who is the State President of the National Servicemen’s Association NSW Inc. stated in court that anyone with an interest could join the association.  As it is a National Servicemen’s Association why are people who are not national servicemen permitted to join?   Why are women permitted to join as it is a National Servicemen’s Association?

 

Comments from Louise Croaker

However his unit has worked in conjunction with the 30 Terminal Squadron and 10 terminal regiment as Sqadron Sergeant Major. As you are probably well aware, once in unform, it does not matter wether you are regular army or reservists, proptocol and ranking structures well exist.

CPMH comments

It does certainly matter if you were Regular Army or a Reservist.  This comment is not here to spark a conflict between Regulars and Reservists but clearly to point out that for a Regular Soldier the Military is full time employment and for the Reservist it is part time as they hold down normal civilian employment.   To claim to have been a regular Soldier and to have done what Len Williams has done to genuine Veterans is a crime that he still hasn't paid for in monetary value.  See the conclusion to this update.

Comments from Louise Croaker

As one example of being involved with both regular army units was the embarkation and deployment of troops on an exercise involving not only the above mentioned regular army units but also the HMAS Tobruk.

CPMH comments

This is irrelevant; Len Williams had stated that he was in 30 terminal squadron, which was a Regular Army Unit. Len Williams was never in the Regular Army!

Comments from Louise Croaker

“More importantly for our fellow Australian Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen who cannot and never will be able to attend a Service like this because they were called upon to make the Supreme sacrifice.  “And WE are now part of Australian Military History. And may I remind you that nobody but nobody can take that honour away from US collectively or as individuals” The above statment, made by Len Williams, was directed to ALL military personnel, both regular army and reservists alike. As anyone with any military history know, World war one was fought by volunteers, AKA reservists.

CPMH comments

Len Williams was speaking at a dinner during the October Long Weekend in 1993.  It was also during that weekend that Len Williams had stepped out in front of Erwin Hodikin the President of the Vietnam Veterans Association from Coffs Harbour. Erwin Hodikin stated this in court. Len Williams implied by saying “We are now part of Australian Military History” that he was also a Vietnam Veteran.  This is on record.

As far as the statement being made by Len Williams to all Military Personnel both Regular Army and Reservists alike, it was not and the you were not present. The statement was made to a group of Vietnam Veterans and from the words Len Williams spoke he was most certainly posing as one of them.

The statement by Louise about who fought World War 1 is irrelevant.

Comments from Louise Croaker

Although Len Williams did not serve in Vietnam, he did play an important role as a
reservist. During the Vietnam War, as I am aware, there was a dock strike.
Len Williams aided in the loading of vital supplies of the Japarret ( spelling may
not be accurate) in his capacity as a qualified freight handler.

CPMH comment

What has that got to do with the fact that Len Williams had stated that he was in the regular army when he wasn’t!

Comments from the Louise Croaker

The "rock and tree planting" was performed with the full approval of the
Coffs Harbour council, who owns the land. Although Len Williams was not, at this
time, a member of the Vietnam Veterans Association, to my knowledge, he was asked AGAIN to be on the board of the Vietnam Veterans Association. The planting and the placement of the rock was to be for all Vietnam Veterans who died during this conflict, of which his brother was one.

The placing of the rock and the planting of the tree did NOT infuriate All
Vietnam Veterans, but was accepted by the majority, but then again, a
minority of jealous people, who did not think of it first, protested.

CPMH comments

Len Williams had contacted the Coffs Harbour Council who had assumed that Len Williams was going to place the rock and plant the tree on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans Association. At no time were the Council made aware that Len Williams was not a member of the Vietnam Vets. When the Vietnam Vets and other Veterans and ex-service personnel saw the article and the photograph of Len Williams planting the tree in the Advocate they were certainly ALL infuriated.

The following is from Page 57 of the Judgement

May 1998 ‑ Vietnam Veterans Park Tree Planting

166.      These disputes reached a climax in May 1998 when the plaintiff, despite not

being a Vietnam Veteran or an Associate Member of the Vietnam Veterans

Association, both planted a tree (obtained for this purpose from the local

council) and placed a commemorative rock in the Vietnam Veterans Park

without the permission of the Vietnam Veterans Association. It was the

evidence of Brigadier Essex‑Clark (who was also the Deputy Mayor and a

councillor at the time) that the Council employees who gave the plaintiff both

the tree and permission to carry out this task believed that the plaintiff was a

Vietnam Veteran (transcript). The plaintiff had invited the Advocate to

photograph the planting of the tree.

 167.           The plaintiff was subsequently requested to appear before the Judiciary

Page 58
 

Committee of the Cof£s Harbour RSL Club for conduct unbecoming a member. This hearing, on 14 July 1998, directly followed the tree planting incident.
 

168.     On 28 July 1998 Brigadier Essex‑Clark intervened in the Judiciary Committee

proceedings. He had been asked by the Mayor to mediate the matter on

behalf of the Coffs Harbour City Council. The Council had already resolved

to remove the tree and rock from the Vietnam Veterans Park and the

mediation proceeded on that basis, with the result that the plaintiff agreed to

write an apology to the Vietnam Veterans. It is common ground that no such

apology was ever provided by the plaintiff to the Vietnam Veterans

Association.
 

169.     On Tuesday, 11 August 1998 the plaintiff was requested to appear before the

Coffs Harbour RSL Club Judiciary Committee for disregard of a directive by

senior management to quit premises after the judiciary hearing on Tuesday, 14

July 1998. He was suspended of his privileges as a member of the Coffs

.          Harbour Ex Services Club for six months. He appealed against this decision

on 15 September 1998 and this appeal was dismissed. He was accordingly a

suspended member up until 14 January 1999 when his privileges were

reinstated.

Comments from Louise Croaker

The "John Paul College" article, which was printed incorrectly by the
reporter, was retracted by Len Williams in the next issue. The young girl in the article was summoned to court and did state that Len did not say he was a Long Tan Vet.

Page 5 of the Judgment
 

12.       After the plaintiff joined the newly formed Coffs Harbour branch of the National Servicemen's Association in 1997 he sought to promote this association and his role in it by publicity in the Advocate newspaper over activities such as the planting of a tree in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park. As I have set out in my findings of fact below, his making available souvenirs of Long Tan on or about the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1999 was another such opportunity for publicity for both the plaintiff and the Association he sought to promote.

13.       The plaintiff in his evidence does not suggest that when he telephoned the headmaster he said he was not a Veteran, or that the personal mementoes he intended to bring were not his. He says he told the headmaster this information after he arrived at the school on 13 August 1999. It is clear from Mr Walton's statement (Ex 10) that the information about the plaintiff's status as a non‑Veteran, and the fact that the mementoes were not his own, was not revealed to Mr Walton until after he had invited the plaintiff and indeed after the plaintiff arrived at the school, and it is also clear from the plaintiff's own evidence that neither the journalist, Jacqui Sheather nor the children photographed with the plaintiff were present when these statements by the plaintiff about his status were made.
 

14.              The events of 13 August 1999 were as follows. The plaintiff went to the headmaster's office (which is where he says he told the headmaster he was not a Veteran) and thereafter was taken to the library. Jacqui Sheather, a photographer from the Advocate, then arrived and the headmaster brought two children in from classes in the immediate vicinity to be included in the photograph. The plaintiff spread out the memorabilia and photographs were taken.
 

Page 76 of the Judgement

 

            I accept the evidence of Jessica Pinkerton on this issue; whereas the plaintiff changed his evidence, Jessica's evidence was given in a frank and straightforward fashion. She was frank in her admissions about what she could and could not remember and was clearly a witness of truth. The plaintiff, by comparison, gave inconsistent evidence and answered questions evasively. I am satisfied that there is evidence that the plaintiff was seeking to deceive school children and that he did in fact take advantage of his presence in a school to make some form of speech to Jessica and the other school student, not simply about what the names were on the plaque but no doubt other matters along the lines of statements, which are set out above from his evidence.

CPMH comments

In court it was never stated that the reporter had printed the story incorrectly. In fact the editor of neither the newspaper nor the photographer were asked by Len Williams’ barrister to appear in court. The writer of the letter was not in court and the young girl you are referring to, her name was  Jessica Pinkerton, certainly said she was under the impression that Len Williams was a Veteran and posed the question about why would he go to a school and show his personal mementoes of the Battle of Long Tan when he was not there!

There was a small retraction printed the next day, which said that Len Williams was not a Veteran. It incorrectly stated that Len Williams was the President of the National Servicemen’s Association. He was the caretaker/secretary at the time. The retraction made no mention of the facts about the personal mementoes of the Battle of Long Tan.

Comments from Louise Croaker

The momentos in question from the battle fo "long Tan" were given to Len by a long standing friend, who was in fact a Long Tan Vet, and still holds Len in the highest regards, even following the allogations made about Len.

CPMH Comments

The fact that Mr Ross McDonald gave Len Williams the mementoes was certainly not disputed in court.

When the newspaper article appeared in the Advocate it showed a photograph of Len Williams with "his personal mementoes of the Battle of Long Tan". No one at that stage knew where they had originated.

Even Mr MacDonald admitted in court that if he didn’t know Len Williams nor given him the mementoes he would have been disappointed to see someone who wasn’t a Vietnam Vet portrayed as a Vietnam Veteran in the newspaper.

What had upset many members of the Veteran and ex-service community was the fact that a photograph of Len Williams and the mementoes stating that they were his personal mementoes of the battle of Long Tan had appeared in the Advocate on 19th August 1999, the day after Vietnam Veteran’s Day.

Comments from Louise Croaker

As a member of the RSL myself, under the constitution of the RSL myself, you are entitlted to wear ties and badges. The nametag in question was worn by Len when he was a member of the RSL sub-branch board, this badge has not been worn since. The "business card identification" the articel talks about, I have NOT seen worn by any member of the board.

CPMH comments

Len Williams had not been a member of the executive of Coffs Harbour RSL since February 1995. Len Williams went to John Paul College in August 1999 wearing a nametag, which said  “Mr Len Williams, BM, Coffs Harbour RSL Sub-Branch”

Len Williams had this nametag specially made. On the website we certainly accurately pictorially depicted the nametag which the members of Coffs RSL wore and that the Executive of the RSL wear. The executive of Coffs RSL does not know the type of nametag and you do not go to meetings so how would you know about the correct nametags?   You certainly sound  confused about the nametags!   The members wear nametags, which are business cards, slipped into plastic holders. The executive wear totally different nametags, which are depicted, on the site.

Comments from Louise Croaker

In regards for wearing the "Bullion Badge", the person who submitted this article to you, should be fully aware (that is if they are fully military complacement) that the badge was in fact a WOII insignia. The fact that it
was worn on a beret should be inconsequential as Len Williams had been out of the service for some time. The wearing of the RACT badge over the top of the WOII badge should not be regarded as anything more than national pride.   On his &quo

Located in: Stolen Valour
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