A former soldier who claimed to have served in war-torn countries received thousands of pounds worth of money and services by pretending he had cancer, a court has heard.Simon Buckden, who has run several marathons and raised money for charities, including Help for Heroes, said he had been diagnosed with cancer in an attempt to get sympathy and money, Leeds Crown Court was told.But medical records showed Buckden had never received a cancer diagnosis or received any treatment or therapy for the disease. Simon Buckden carrying the Olympic torch in the run up to the 2012 gamesCredit:SWNS.com The court heard he told people he had held a dying child in his arms and told his former girlfriend he had to shoot a friend in the kneecap while working undercover to infiltrate the IRA.He also claimed to have served in the SAS and attended events wearing medals and a beret, the court heard.Buckden, 44, from Leeds, spoke publicly about his experiences of growing up in care, his time in the Army and PTSD.He took part in the Olympic torch relay in the run up to the 2012 London Olympic Games and began a fundraising challenge to run 100 marathons in 100 weeks.In 2012, he told his former partner he had been diagnosed with terminal rectal cancer, the court heard.He went on to tell a number of people about the diagnosis and his marathon challenge, including friends, his new partner, newspapers and business people.As a result, he received thousands of pounds worth of money and services from businesses for courses, therapy sessions, a holiday, a publicity film and to set-up a PTSD enterprise.Mr Hassall said: “In light of what he said about his diagnosis, people were, naturally, moved by his story and moved to try to help him.”Here was a man who was making a valiant effort to raise funds for charity, running 100 marathons in 100 weeks, who had, in the middle of all of that, been cruelly struck down with cancer. Craig Hassall, prosecuting, told a jury that Buckden’s military records revealed he was a military clerk in the Army until his discharge in 2001 due to mental health problems.He carried out one overseas deployment to Bosnia during his time in the armed forces and never experienced frontline active service, the court heard.But Buckden told a number of people he carried out tours of duty in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Rwanda and both Gulf Wars, and described his experiences, claiming he suffered with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result, the jury was told. Simon Buckden during a charity fundraising campaignCredit: SWNS.com His mental health difficulties, as described by (the psychiatrist), were not the reason why he was telling people untruths about his military career and his cancer diagnosisCraig Hassall, prosecuting “Many of the witnesses in this case provided either money or practical help to the defendant’s cause as a result of hearing about his cancer diagnosis.”The court heard Buckden drew up a document detailing his experiences and listing the items he needed to reach his goals, including sponsorship, branding, publicity, financial backing, a holiday, a mobile phone, a car and a laptop.Mr Hassall said: “This was a proposal that could be sent out to anyone who might feel moved by the account the defendant was giving to people, to help contribute to what he was trying to achieve, which was to get a lot of attention: partly for people who were suffering PTSD but also partly for himself.”Buckden was arrested after a former girlfriend challenged him about his story.The court heard he told police he had been diagnosed with rectal cancer in Romania and he treated himself.He told a psychiatrist later that he no longer thought he had cancer but had been convinced that he had at the time, the jury was told.The psychiatrist did not find that Buckden was suffering from a mental illness or disorder but could be described as suffering from PTSD, with symptoms being noted before he was posted to Bosnia, the court heard.Mr Hassall said: “His mental health difficulties, as described by (the psychiatrist), were not the reason why he was telling people untruths about his military career and his cancer diagnosis.”The obvious reason was to get sympathy, to increase the likelihood of them supporting him in his endeavours.”Asking for a car, a mobile phone, a laptop and a holiday, it’s blatantly clear what was behind these untruths about his medical situation.”Buckden denies six counts of fraud. The trial continues. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.