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Cancer charity thefts man sentenced
A man will be sentenced for stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from children's cancer charities, including one he set up to help his own son.
Kevin Wright was found guilty of 10 counts of theft and two of fraud by false representation following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court last month.
The 49-year-old, who was cleared of one count of fraud by false representation, will be sentenced at the same court.
Prosecutors said Wright, of Quince, Amington, Staffordshire, stole a total of £171,500 from the Bobby Wright Cancer Fighting Fund, including donations of £60,000 made by charities Caudwell Children and Janet Nash.
Wright, formerly of Kenn near Exeter, also stole cash and credit balances from appeals he set up to raise money for cancer treatment for three-year-olds Callum Kaye and Armani Mohammad. The money went into Wright's personal bank account to fund his "interests, investments and personal lifestyle".
Wright set up a number of successful appeals for sick children between 2005 and 2008. These included the Bobby Wright Cancer Fighting Fund and a company called Bobby's Fund, set up for his son Bobby, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, neuroblastoma, in April 2005 at the age of three.
During his trial, Wright said he had wanted to help others in a similar situation after Bobby, who is now 11 and cancer-free, responded well to a variety of therapies. But the court heard that some of the money raised went into Wright's personal bank account. Jurors were told he gave £20,000 to a friend who ran a used-car business and that he put £60,000 into Premium Bonds.
Another £30,000 was used to buy the Toad In The Hole restaurant in Exeter, Devon, while a further £30,000 was invested in the Royal Oak pub in a village close to his home. Wright claimed the restaurant and pub ventures were aimed at promoting natural food and were part of the fundraising, with any profits going back into the appeal funds.
Giving evidence in his defence, Wright told the jury that every penny he raised was intended to help youngsters living with cancer.
Following the verdicts, Judge Greg Dickinson told the court that Wright had two previous convictions for theft and another for forgery.