'We were gay lovers', insists former policeman on trial for fraud

A FORMER policeman accused of trying to establish that he was the gay lover of a dead friend in order to inherit his money, described their close relationship last week. At Peterborough Crown Court, Marcus Alder said he first met Phillip Tyssen-Gee in 197

A FORMER policeman accused of trying to establish that he was the gay lover of a dead friend in order to inherit his money, described their close relationship last week.

At Peterborough Crown Court, Marcus Alder said he first met Phillip Tyssen-Gee in 1979 and they remained friends until Mr Tyssen-Gee's suicide at his Somersham home in November 2006.

The 48-year-old of Apple Close, Offord D'Arcy, who told the court he was bi-sexual, said the pair had stayed in contact through his two marriages and their relationship had been a factor in the break-up of his second marriage.

Giving evidence on Thursday, Mr Alder said: "For more than a quarter of a century we rang each other three or four times a day, we shared a meal once a week and two holidays a year and we shared a love of reading."


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Mr Alder denies 14 criminal charges, including possession of an illegal weapon, intimidation and planting a suicide note claiming that he was in a relationship with Mr Tyssen-Gee.

When it was put to Mr Alder by his barrister, Graham Trenbarth QC that there had been no hint of a sexual relationship between the two men, the defendant said there had been a physical relationship.

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He added: "I was born at a time of intolerance for homosexuality at best and prejudice in the workplace. I am mortified now to be dragged though this."

Mr Alder, who had a fake MI5 card, also described his reaction on discovering Mr Tyssen-Gee's suicide note which left him half the dead man's estate.

"I thought how kind of him," he said. "But I knew that letter could never be used. I knew that once there is a will, it has to be replaced by another will."

Mr Alder said the note had been found in a book he had gone to his late friend's house to retrieve. It had been read by one of the executors of the will, Richard Wood, who had gone with him.

"He read it and he said this is a suicide note - this is not testimony and I said 'I know that, can't we just forget about it and destroy it'. He said it had to go to the coroner."

The note read: "I have decided to end my life and to leave this note where you will find it. I don't want plod or the ambulance men to find it.

"I want to do something I should have done some time ago. For over a quarter of a century, you have been my friend, the only one who gave a damn. I want you to have half my estate. I remember the holidays and the meals we enjoyed and best of all the long chats on election nights."

When it was pointed out that there was no reference to the pair being lovers, Mr Alder said: "Phillip was a very private man. He was not camp, he did not wear pink t-shirts."

Mr Alder said he was advised by a solicitor that he could have a claim on the estate and admitted asking two people to write letters confirming they were a gay couple.

One of the letters was signed by a former business partner, Steven Austin from Hemingford Grey, who according to the prosecution was forced to sign at gunpoint.

The other was from is his second wife.

Mr Alder denied that Mr Austin was forced to sign the letter, adding: "I typed the draft, I had hand-written notes on what to include, but Steven gave it his five pennyworth, he re-jigged it."

Mr Alder did admit pulling over on to a lay-by as he and Mr Austin drove together in Mr Alder's Landrover and that he pulled out a gun. However, he said he had merely shot at some clods of earth in a field, something he had often done with Mr Tyssen-Gee.

"I did discharge a blank firing pistol. I did not threaten him."

He also denied threatening his second wife, Angela Grieg, who left him two days after he was arrested. They had met, married and separated within eight months.

In response to charges relating to taking out finance in her name, Mr Alder said that he had applied for finance for cars of more than £40,000 in her name for tax reasons.

And he said that he had been drunk when he applied for a credit card in Mr Tyssen-Gee's name and knew the application would be rejected.

The case continues.

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