The death of a high flying businessman from Pembrokeshire has exposed his extraordinary double life on the run from British justice.

In 1987, solicitor Andrew Paterson fled the UK after being wanted for conspiracy to defraud.

He adopted the name of Mark Attwood and started a new life as a successful businessman in the holiday industry.

Three times married and with six children, he was highly respected in his role as group sales and marketing director for a luxury timeshare apartments company.

In line with his wishes, Mr Attwood was repatriated to the UK after his sudden death from a heart attack in Goa.

Family and colleagues travelled to pay their last respects to him at St Mary’s Church, Begelly, last month.

But an hour before the funeral was due to start, police were given the shock information about his true identity.

Fingerprint comparison eventually identified him as Andrew Edward Paterson, aged 58, who was born in the holiday resort of Tenby and grew up in Kilgetty, and it was only on Monday November 21st that he was finally laid to rest in the churchyard close to his childhood home.

“Andrew Edward Paterson failed to attend Guildford Crown Court on 13/11/1987 to answer conspiracy to defraud charges, and a warrant is still outstanding,” Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed.

The charge is that he, with another person, conspired to use his position as a solicitor to receive and retain £17,200 belonging to a client who was to purchase an imported motor vehicle.

Police have now found that Mr Paterson fraudulently obtained a passport in the name of Mark Attwood showing him to be 51 years old - seven years younger than he actually was.

Funeral director Stewart Treharne, who was instructed to carry out the arrangements, said: “I’ve never come across a situation like this, and I really feel for the family of Mr Attwood. He had some wonderful tributes paid to him at the funeral, and was evidently held in high esteem by his company, with people travelling from all over the world to attend.

“Because of the enquiries being made, it was not possible to bury his body immediately, but we have ensured that his dignity has been respected by caring for him in our chapel of rest.

“Whatever his history, he was a man who was loved as a husband, father and respected colleague and we have now laid him to rest in the presence of his wife and other family members, in the name of Andrew Edward Paterson, also known as Mark Peter Frank Attwood.”

Extensive enquiries by Mr Treharne have established that Mr Paterson’s mother was a member of the Edwards family who ran the village shop in Kilgetty. He had two aunts and an uncle - former Cardiff City footballer George Edwards - who all died childless.

“As far as we know, he has no close family on his mother’s side and we have not been able to establish anything about his father’s local connection,” added Mr Treharne, of E.C. Thomas & Sons.

As Mark Attwood, he originally worked selling timeshare in Tenerife for a company called Global. There he met company director, Australian John Spence, and they then set up the Karma Royal group, which expanded to become Asia-Pacific’s largest timeshare resort development.

His death of a heart attack came as a great shock to his wife Chatchanok and his friends and colleagues, as he had only recently beaten cancer.

The company held a memorial service ‘to celebrate the life and legend’ of Mr Attwood, and dozens of tributes on his Facebook page paint a picture of a charismatic, dynamic individual.

He was described as ‘an amazing character’, ‘a top man’ and ‘a warm and eternally optimistic chap’.