A former soldier has admitted he lied about being a war hero who was blown up in Afghanistan to make him more ‘appealing’ to women.
Danny Hutchison, an ex-Army clerk who lives in Bo’ness, previously claimed he had been injured in a suicide bombing in Kabul in 2008 when in fact his injury came as a result of a vehicle accident in Ballater, Aberdeenshire in 2002 while he was on duty, badly injuring his sternum, which required several operations.
His lies were exposed by real war veterans on the Walter Mitty Hunters Club (WMHC) Facebook page after being tipped off his stories about the bomb blast didn’t correlate with any official records.
In his apology, which was littered with grammar and spelling errors that we have corrected, Hutchison said: “I want to stand here, cap in hand and officially apologise whole-heartedly for the lies I have told. It was a time in my life where I was low and yes, indeed probably sad. However, I deeply apologise to the family and friends that have been affected in this situation.
“It started as a thing with an ex to make me look more of a catch and not that my body was having issues after the original rta (road traffic accident) in Ballater where my chest was badly damaged due to being passenger in a bad accident.
“Also, I fully apologise to any exes in the past that I’ve told the story to. It was to make me more (appealing), but again I am sorry. Was in a low and bad place back then. No excuse I know.”
The 43-year-old started in the Army and served as a clerk from 200-2013 but also made up a story of having been trained as a commando.
His web of deceit included claiming the suicide bomb was by a 12-year-old which was a similar account to a genuine incident in December 2008 when three Royal Marines died.
The attack took place in the Helmand Province by a 13-year-old boy who had stored the explosives in a wheelbarrow killing Marine Damien Davies, Corporal Marc Birch and Sergeant John Manuel as they guarded a bridge.
Hutchison used a photograph of the soldiers’ wrecked vehicle, taken from the internet, to back up his claims, while details of another attack which killed soldier Wayne Bland was also part of Hutchison’s elaborate deception, according to details gathered by WMHC.
When this paper ran a story in November last year about him winning medals in America’s Warrior Games – after being made aware of it through Help for Heroes – he sent us the picture to back up his story.
Hutchison said: “One thing I never knew was the details of any marines etc or I wouldn’t have used the pic from Google.
“I also sincerely apologise to the mums and dads of the victims in the picture I used. I never knew of their incident and only used the picture. But I do apologise from the heart as it is an unforgivable thing I did.
“I just made the 12-year-old bit up and had no idea it was actually something that had happened. I added and used the commando course and badge, along with 267 sig recce regt to try and make myself likeable.
“As I was low and felt in a bad place, I was dealing with a lot of hospital time and losing a parent. I know I shouldn’t have done this.
“However, none of the above should have happened. I am sorry it did. I can’t take it back as it’s done. But I never meant any harm or disrespect to any marine or any of the units and commando. Please accept my deepest apologies.”
Hutchison would have been taking part in this week’s Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida after being chosen for the UK team, but after the revelations appeared on WMHC he pulled out on ‘health grounds’.
During the build-up to the games, Hutchison appeared on a TV programme with all the other team members and posed for pictures with celebrity Nick Knowles and the games’ president Prince Harry.
In the Warrior Games in Virginia and he won silver and bronze medals for wheelchair basketball and also competed in the discus throw and shot put. According to Hutchison his place in both games was warranted as the RTA he was involved in was when he was on duty.
He added: “Finally I want to apologise from my heart to the mother of those victims. It was a stupid thing I did. Even though I didn’t knowingly know of their tragic event. I should never have used that picture. Please know that I am dearly sorry.
“So, in full, I formally apologise again for my thoughtless actions. But that’s all beside the point as I want this apology out for most so I can put an end to this as it’s my own fault and has subsequently cost me three jobs so far.
“Once again, sorry to all concerned. I just want to put an end to this unacceptable issue I have caused.
“Finally I want to apologise to all involved and also to both H4H Sports Recovery and The Invictus Games Foundation for any bad press and negativity that has arisen from my actions.”
A spokesperson for WMHC said: “Using the deaths of four heroes to inflate his service to the general public is just unforgivable! He had no need to lie.
“His actions have upset the families and friends of those people involved in those incidences he’s used. He claims he only used it to attract women.
“We have found this not to be the case as several serviceman, charities and close family members were also told these same lies. Even when apologising he has not been sincere and most people have see through this.”