A Peckham man has been jailed after pocketing £8,000 – £10,000 he collected for a charity for wounded soldiers.
James Addis of Stanbury Road admitted to police that he had gone out four times a week shaking a Help for Heroes bucket at different London Underground and mainline stations across the capital.
He raised an impressive £39,892.62 for the charity, which helps to rehabilitate injured service personnel, but not all of the money made it into the Help for Heroes coffers.
Blackfriars Crown Court heard how between 2010 and 2014 he donated £20,226 to the good cause , which leaves £19,666 unaccounted for – though Addis was only convicted of fraud of between £8,000 – £10,000.
Addis was arrested by the British Transport Police (BTP) after an off duty officer walking through Paddington station in May last year spotted him collecting for Help for Heroes in a bucket with no charity number on it.
Addis, 42, was found guilty of fraud and sentenced to eight months in prison on Monday after he admitted pocketing between £8,000 – £10,000.
Jo Brookes from Help for Heroes, said: “Addis deceived the public into thinking they were making donations which would help our wounded. Instead he was cashing in on their goodwill and using the money for his own personal gain. Our anti-fraud measures helped the police catch him and its right he’s been brought to justice.”
Inspector Dan Tanner of the British Transport Police said: “The sentence handed down by the judge shows that British Transport Police do not tolerate any type of fraud, no matter the amount, no matter who is responsible. This man took advantage of his position to steal donations from the travelling public. I hope the sentence will deter anyone who tries to commit fraud, and serve as a warning that BTP will do everything in its power to identify and prosecute those responsible.”
The amount given in this headline differs to that given in our printed edition as further information came to light after the News went to press.