March 10 2014 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
A bogus charity collector who exploited the generosity of Redbridge commuters to pocket donations has been jailed.
Roy Bardy, 48, was sentenced to 13 months in jail at Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday.
He pleaded guilty of two counts of fraud by false representation but British Transport Police found evidence of 81 collections he arranged over three years.
Redbridge was targeted in 2010, when Bardy set up “collections” at Barkingside, Wanstead, Newbury Park, Gants Hill, Hainault and Snaresbrook stations.
Commuters believed they were giving the money to Christian charity the Communion of True Vineyard Foundation from December 9 to Christmas Eve.
Bardy, of Henshawe Road, Dagenham, also took donations for the NAS International housing charity at train stations across eight counties.
British Transport Police said they were first alerted to his actions by commuters complaining of suspicious behaviour.
A spokesman said Bardy approached charities offering his services as a charity collector and fundraiser to recruit volunteers.
Once he had gained their trust, he would establish contact with train companies to authorise collections at stations, the court heard.
Speaking after the hearing, Det Con Mike Ganly said: “This is a sad case that has seen commuters’ kind generosity and donations to charities unknowingly taken by Bardy.
“He is a callous thief and his actions, diverting money away from charities which rely on donations to fund their good work, has resulted in those good causes suffering financial losses.”
An investigation led to officers carrying out a search warrant of his rented office in Dagenham and his arrest in November 2010.
Sentencing Bardy, Judge Henry Blacksell said: “You saw an opportunity to make money from charities which you manipulated to your advantage.
“You made multiple fraudulent, deceiving transactions over the years.
“It was a breach of trust and a representation which causes people to suffer. You are a manipulator and a dishonest man.”
Gants Hill became the focus of a Twitter frenzy over the weekend after One Direction singer Zayn Malik was spotted at nightclub Faces.