A FRAUDSTER who pocketed commuters’ charity donations across eight counties has been jailed for 13 months.

Roy Bardy, 48, recruited volunteers and employees to stand at rail stations in Dartford, Gravesend, Bexley, Sidcup, Bromley and Greenwich to collect money for charities, Blackfriars Crown Court heard on Monday (February 4).

Over three years Bardy approached charities offering his services as a collector and fundraiser before gaining their trust and contacting train companies so authorised charity collectors could operate at stations on specific dates.

Fancy dress costumes were found at Bardy’s home in Henshawe Road, Dagenham, Essex along with evidence of 81 incidents where collections on behalf of two charities took place or were planned.

Although some of these collections may have been legitimate, Bardy admitted some money collected had been taken for himself.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation.

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."

Detective Constable Mike Ganly added: "Bardy 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."