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Charity conman lied about family’s deaths
A CHARITY fraudster falsely claimed his wife and young son had died of cancer as he conned people out of money, York Crown Court heard.
Customers at John Bryan Richardson’s stall at car boot sales in York and North Yorkshire along with other venues thought they were giving their cash to Charity Research UK, said Jessica Strange, prosecuting.
But in reality he pocketed the money for himself as he tugged at their heartstrings with his tales of how his wife and four-year-old son had died of cancer.
“They were lies, simply not true.
“He also said he himself had cancer, again lies,” said Miss Strange.
Richardson, 59, of Wellington Road, Bridlington, pleaded guilty to six charges of fraud committed.
Two related to him accepting items for sale for the charity from members of the public.
Recorder Graeme Cook said: “There must be a reason behind what is happening. They are particularly mean offences.”
Defence barrister Glenn Parsons said Richardson had a history of mental breakdowns and mental illness and may have bi-polar depression.
Richardson was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months on condition that he did 18 months’ supervision.
He pleaded guilty on the basis that he had set up his stall 12 times at Kirkbymoorside Memorial Hall, a few times at the Blacksmith’s Arms in Lastingham and also at a car boot sale in Hutton-le-Hole, all between July 2010 and Agust 2011.
He had also had a stall in Walmgate, York, between November 9 and November 13, 2011. Altogether he collected £800.
York Crown Court heard his criminal convictions began in January 2012 when he served a prison sentence for driving offences and he had since received sentences of four weeks and 26 weeks.
Mr Parsons said Richardson was not receiving help from a community psychiatric team, but handed in a report from the owner of the property where Richardson was now living about the way the court proceedings had affected him.