Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Christopher Copeland

You can't get much lower in this life than to steal from a charity. And in the UK, it gets worse when that charity is one set up to support injured servicemen and women who fought for their country.

Christopher Copeland tricked the public into donating £300,000 over an 18 month period to the armed forces charity Help for Heroes, only to pocket the money himself.

Accompanied by a vehicle from Copeland’s collection of ex-military vehicles decorated in Help for Heroes livery, his teams would attempt to encourage shoppers to put cash into charity buckets. 

The scam took place between 1 February, 2010 and ended on 17 September, 2011, when Copeland was arrested after one of his workers became suspicious. 

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Robison said "We believed his motive was greed. It is a rare occurrence and one that we have taken seriously along with Help for Heroes and the Crown Prosecution Service to arrive at a successful outcome." 

Jo Brookes, Help for Heroes' Income Protection Officer, described Copeland's actions as "calculated" and "devious"."We're appalled that Chris Copeland exploited the goodwill of so many people towards our wounded men and women in such a calculated, devious way," she said. 

 "The money he stole never reached us, or the thousands of Heroes we support, because he used organised, criminal tactics to intercept it." 

He faces a lengthy prison sentence after which Old Nick should line him up for a severe burning.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Rolf Harris

Disgraced Aussie family entertainer, Rolf Harris, was jailed for five years and nine months for twelve counts of indecently assaulting young women and girls. 

 One woman said she was aged seven or eight when she queued to get an autograph from Harris at a community centre in Hampshire in 1968 or 1969. When she reached the front of the queue, Harris had touched her inappropriately with his "big hairy hands", she told the jury. 

 She said she had initially thought it might have been an accident but then he touched her again. "It felt very aggressive, and I knew that it wasn't an accident." She went on to describe how "he scared me because he was looking at me all the time". 

 Seven of the 12 charges related to a childhood friend of Harris's daughter Bindi. Six charges related to alleged abuse when she was aged between 13 and 15, and the seventh to when she was 19. The court heard that the abuse began when she had been on holiday with the Harris family at the age of 13.

Later, the woman said Harris had performed a sex act on her at the Harris family home, with Bindi asleep in the same room.  Further assaults took place at the Harris home and in her bedroom at her own home while her parents were downstairs.

  Harris faces the possible loss of much of his estimated £11m fortune. He will face a claim for significant prosecution costs and several of his victims have begun claims for compensation. 

 As well as the civil compensation suits, Harris faces being stripped of his various honours, including a CBE, professional fellowships and honorary degrees. His home town of Bassendean in Western Australia is to remove a plaque in his honour and his former school has taken down his artwork.