Man who stole money he collected for Help for Heroes is jailed for five months

David Andrew Kennedy collected £2,031 for the armed forces charity in May 2012, but the cash never reached the organisation

Help for Heroes
Help for Heroes

A man has been jailed for five months for stealing £2,031 he had collected outside a supermarket for the armed forces charity Help for Heroes.

David Andrew Kennedy, formerly of Larkhall, south Lanarkshire, was sentenced on 25 March at Hamilton Sheriff Court after pleading guilty on 3 March to one count of embezzlement.

On 5 May 2012, Kennedy had been volunteering as a fundraiser for Help for Heroes outside an Asda supermarket. The money did not reach the charity.

Kennedy also received two separate prison sentences for unrelated offences. He was given three months for helping a child who was subject to a child assessment order issued to protect their welfare to abscond in early 2014, and a further month for failing to appear in court on 27 May 2014 in relation to that charge.

The total nine-month sentence was backdated to begin on 3 March because Kennedy had been in custody in the meantime.

Jo Brookes, an income protection officer at Help for Heroes, said: "Kennedy deceived the public into thinking they were making donations that 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 to catch him and we're delighted he's been brought to justice."

In a separate case in September last year, Exeter Crown Court handed down a sentence of four-and-a-half years to a volunteer fundraiser who stole more than £300,000 in donations meant for the charity.

According to Action Fraud, of the 270 incidents of fraud involving charities that were reported to police forces across England and Wales in the last quarter of 2013, 35 related to suspects representing themselves as from armed forces or war veterans charities, with 29 of those using the "heroes" theme.

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