Homeless man who cheated in London Marathon suffers broken ankle

Homeless man who cheated to finish the London Marathon claims he was beaten up and left with a broken ankle by revenge-seeking mob who ‘wanted to make sure he didn’t run again’

  • Homeless Stanley Skupien says ‘racist’ gang beat him outside a pub on Monday
  • The 38-year-old stole a race number to finish the London Marathon last month 
  • He said: ‘They recognised me as the man from the marathon and came after me in a swarm, breaking my ankle and hurting me elsewhere’
  • This week he was accused of stealing a house boat and painting it another colour

A cheating homeless jogger nicknamed ‘Forrest Tramp’ claims a mob broke his ankle after he claimed a London Marathon medal by grabbing a runner’s race number and running to the finish.

Polish-born builder Stanley Skupien hobbled into court on crutches yesterday and blamed his injury on a ‘racist’ group he claims beat him up outside The Bell pub In Hounslow on Bank Holiday Monday.

He said: ‘They wanted to make sure I do not run again’, adding he now wants to compete in the London Marathon as a genuine competitor in 2019.

Yesterday magistrates in Uxbridge banned Skupien from Heathrow Airport and the surrounding area where he had been sleeping rough.

The former builder, who came to the UK 12 years ago, admitted disobeying a police order to leave terminal three at the airport two days after the marathon stunt. 

This week he was accused of taking another’s man’s houseboat and was allegedly found three miles up the canal wearing the victim’s clothes while painting the blue vessel black. 

Polish-born builder Stanley Skupien hobbled into court on crutches yesterday and claimed a gang broke his ankle after recognising him from the London Marathon


Skupien, who sleeps rough at Heathrow, has been nicknamed ‘Forrest Tramp’ by staff who say he is often seen jogging around looking scruffy like Tom Hanks’ character from the Oscar-winning movie

The keen jogger claims a gang beat him up outside The Bell pub In Hounslow on Bank Holiday Monday

He found a number at the 12 mile mark of the marathon before jumping a barrier to join the runners.

14.1 miles later he photographed on The Mall with his medal and seen downing beer, champagne and wine handed to him by crowds toasting his success.

Speaking outside court, still wearing his London Marathon 2018 wristbands, he said his ankle had been broken by a group who wanted ‘revenge’.

He told The Sun: ‘They recognised me as the man from the marathon and came after me in a swarm, breaking my ankle and hurting me elsewhere.

‘They were racists calling me Polish so and so and a fake’.  

This week it emerged the man also known as the ‘Jogging Tramp’ has allegedly tried to take another’s man’s houseboat and was pictured on the vessel, which had been reported stolen.

The 38-year-old who regularly sleeps rough in Heathrow Airport, was allegedly caught painting a missing blue houseboat an hour after it was reported stolen from its mooring in Wembley.

Lawrence O’Connor, a theatre director and actor, called 999 at 6.18pm last Wednesday after coming home to find the houseboat he had lovingly restored missing.

An hour later he found his boat three miles up the Grand Union Canal moored on the opposite side of the water in Harlesden being painted black by Skupien.

The Polish former builder had casually draped his London marathon ‘finisher’ top on the tiller and made himself ‘comfy’, even getting in Mr O’Connor’s bed.

The shocked boat owner called police on seeing the homeless man wearing his clothing and boots and apparently wielding a large axe, which he said was dropped overboard the moment officers arrived.

But Mr Skupien denied stealing the boat, telling officers he had been asked to paint it for a mystery man who had now vanished.

He was unable to explain why he was wearing Mr O’Connor’s shorts, hoodie and boots or why the boat had been taken from its mooring and the engine filled with petrol instead of diesel which appears to have caused the boat to break down.

But astonishingly the officers accepted his story and decided not to arrest Skupien.

When Mr O’Connor protested days later, he was told the case was closed. 

Jake Halliday (pictured) who was raising cash for cancer, had been running for more than three hours when he was taken off the course by stewards, having lost his race number

The jobless builder was seen swigging champagne, beer and wine from the crowd while running. He crossed the line four hours after he joined the race – and was given a finisher’s medal and T-shirt

Now the furious boat owner has made an official complaint to the Metropolitan Police.

After appealing for help to trace his floating home on Facebook he wrote: ‘Boat found with bloke trying to paint it black- including the glass of the windows!!

O’Connor (pictured), a theatre company director, said Skupien was wearing his clothes, ‘making himself generally very comfy’ while painting the boat black

‘Wearing my clothes, and making himself generally very comfy.

‘Called 999. Police arrived but not madly interested in investigating the guy’s story that ‘some man asked’ him to paint, nor in the fact that he dropped a large axe overboard as they approached, nor that the boat had been covered with tarpaulins and distinguishing features attempted be covered-up/removed.

‘Engine kaput for the time being, with its abductors having put petrol in the diesel and dismantled the air intake.

‘Back deck trashed.’

Mr O’Connor added: ‘The officers on the scene said that they believed his story that someone found him sleeping rough and offered him money to paint the boat and they weren’t able to prove his story is not true.

‘Leaves many questions unanswered and is very strange. I insisted they take action to find whoever was behind the theft.

‘I received an email this morning saying the case is closed and no further action will be taken.’

The case has provoked fury among local boat owners.

One friend said on Facebook: ‘Stanley Skupien (confirmed as the marathon cheat) stole a boat (theft), took the owner’s clothes and wore them (theft), started to change the boat’s identity by painting it black (criminal damage), put petrol in the diesel engine through ignorance (criminal damage), moved the boat, was caught red-handed and photographed in the act of theft and criminal damage (evidence aplenty), threw his axe overboard… this was observed and noted by police and then they let him go with NO arrest.’

She went on: ‘We cannot rely or trust the police in any way to take any boat crime seriously.’

Owner Lawrence O’Connor, 53, took to Facebook to appeal for help in finding his missing house boat (pictured) after it vanished from Grand Union canal, in Wembley on Wednesday

Just days before the incident, the so-called marathon cheat claimed he deserved the London Marathon medal he was awarded after picking up another runner’s lost number yards from the finish line.

He claimed he was ‘finishing the race for all the homeless people’ despite only running 14 miles of the course.

Skupien said he chanced upon the race number yards from the finish line, which belonged to runner Jake Halliday, 28, of Edinburgh, who was disqualified for losing the marathon sticker, despite raising £48,000 for the charity Bloodwise.

Skupien told The Sun: ‘I saw the number face-up in the middle of the road. I knew if I had one I would get a medal – my heart leaped, it was a dream come true. I had no thoughts of the person whose number it was.’

The jobless builder was seen swigging champagne, beer and wine from the crowd while running.

He crossed the line four hours after he joined the race – and was given a finisher’s medal and T-shirt. Days later he was arrested on suspicion of theft.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘A 38-year-old was arrested at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of theft on April 24 relating to an incident in Central London on April 22. He was released under investigation.’ 

Last night Skupien was not available for contact.      

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