Home News Disabled children’s charity trustee who stole £57K jailed

Disabled children’s charity trustee who stole £57K jailed

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A Hengrove man who admitted fraud on a foundation he set up to help families of children with disabilities and serious illnesses has been jailed.

Scott Wright set up the Darren Wright Foundation in the name of his brother who has cerebral palsy, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Initially the charity provided vital financial help to families seeking life-saving operations in the USA for their youngsters.

Read more:Parents deny murdering their five-week old baby

But the court heard Wright lost his grip on the finances, accounts were shambolic and while some beneficiaries were over-paid, others lost out.

Wright, 45, of Leda Avenue, pleaded guilty to, between May 1, 2012 and October 9, 2018, abusing his position as a trustee to cause a loss to the Darren Wright Foundation by using the foundation’s bank account to credit his personal bank account.

The recorder Mr Richard Shepherd jailed him for 28 months.

He told Wright: “He stole £57,000 from the central pot.

“That money was intended for families affected by cerebral palsy and similar.

“They did not get it.

“This was a particularly mean and distasteful course of events.

“The actions and dishonesty by Mr Wright have left a trail of financial turmoil and emotional heartache that continues to impact on the families today.”

The court heard donations via Just Giving pages and fundraising events were channelled into the foundation

Susan Cavender, prosecuting, said it was Wright’s “chaotic” financial records that prompted an investigation by The Charity Commission.

It was the Crown’s case that Wright transferred £57,000 from the foundation to his own bank account.

It meant that several families did not receive money they had campaigned for, hindering operations they were striving for and causing extreme anxiety about treatment delay.

Peter Binder, defending, told the court his client was racked with remorse.

He said: “Mr Wright is beside himself with remorse and guilt for the families he let down.

“He is ashamed that his brother’s name has been brought into proceedings due to the name of the foundation.”

Mr Binder said Wright started the foundation with the best of intentions and had been described as having a “heart of gold” by a family who successfully received financial help.

Mr Binder said: “There were no extravagant purchases.

“He lived extremely modesty.

“There were no foreign holidays.

“There were no high end motor vehicles or other purchases.”

Mr Binder said his client suffered mental health issues due to his involvement with the foundation and had suffered threats, both on social media and directly, including threats he would have his house burned down and have acid thrown at him.

The recorder stressed it was court’s job to punish Wright, not anyone else’s, and he did not want to hear of Wright or his family being punished in any other way.

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