Stephen Kellaway looks like just another ageing hippie enjoying the relaxed Thai lifestyle.
In fact, he is a middle-class British psychologist who officially died almost two years ago.
Stephen Kellaway 53-year-old father of two faked his death during a family trip to Moscow, where his wife had breast enlargement surgery, to avoid jail for swindling £50,000 benefits.
Since then he has been living in Asia, mainly on the proceeds of the £1million property empire the couple built up in London.
The Authorities tracked him down to Bangkok, where he was sleeping on the streets after his payments from the UK had been temporarily halted.
There, he admitted: ‘I’ve been lying about who I am for too long. It is a life of constant anxiety and uncertainty.’
The son of an engineer, Kellaway met his third wife, Nelli, in a pub during the mid-1990s when he was running a counselling service in West London. They have a daughter and son aged 11 and nine, who were sent to private school.
Kellaway earned £100,000 a year from his practice. He and Nelli, now 42, bought six houses and flats in the South East. To help pay their multiple mortgages and school fees, they fraudulently claimed housing benefit on their property portfolio.
Realising the police were closing in, they went on holiday with their children to Russia, where Nelli had her breast operation – and her husband faked his death by bribing a mortuary worker to place his passport on the body of a tramp.
Nelli returned to London with an urn which she said contained Kellaway’s ashes. Facing court for the fraud, she convinced a jury that her ‘abusive’ husband had forced her into it and escaped with a suspended sentence.