‘The dingo stole the baby – not me’: Christchurch man’s mistaken identity battle

Long Lunch 12/09/2018
Photo: Getty.

A 22 year old Christchurch man facing criminal and financial debts claims it’s a case of mistaken identity.

Liam Ward told RadioLIVE for five years records for another man, who shares the same name and birth date, has been mixed up with his own.

He says it all started when he was 17 years old and went to apply for an AA license test.

“And the woman at the counter said to me I’m sorry you can’t book a test because you were disqualified from driving.

“I said to her wait that’s not true at all – I’ve never been disqualified,” Mr Ward said. “I’d never had any driving offences or anything like that.”

Mr Ward went to the police to clear his criminal record, who told him “we don’t usually make mistakes”.

“I thought to myself you’ve spoke a bit too soon on that one because she then looked at the screen and numerous convictions came up that were not mine.”

He says the convictions included drinking driving and theft. But these all occurred on the Kapiti Coast, in the North Island – whereas Mr Ward had been living and working in Christchurch.

“I thought I can’t be in two places at once at the same time. Clearly things don’t add up and there had been a mistake.

I’m basically having to prove that the dingo stole the baby and not me.

Six months after his encounter with police, Mr Ward received a letter from Corrections saying he had to report to a probation officer for community work.

Those errors were sorted however he still faces issues with debt collectors.

Mr Ward says his latest problem was with Credit Simple – a credit information company based in Auckland, who informed him last month of his zero credit score despite never purchasing owing money to two companies.

“Credit Simple sort of tried to assure me that that’s not going to happen again and that they’ve corrected everything,” he said.

But five years of on-going mix ups, Mr Ward says he is now considering legal advice.

“Just to see what I can do if this keeps occurring,” Mr Ward told RadioLIVE.

Listen to the full interview with Liam Ward above.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.