A Caerphilly man has been jailed for more than two years after collecting £67,000 in donations for a bogus charity.
Paul Youde, aged 63, who at the time of his arrest lived at Parc Avenue, Caerphilly, was found guilty of collecting for a charity that did not exist, making up paperwork in relation to a charity that did not exist and not passing on money that had been collected on behalf of charity.
Newport Crown Court sentenced him to 28 months imprisonment.
Youde claimed to be collecting on behalf of the British Institute for Brain Injured Children (BIBIC) – checks with the charity revealed however that they hadn’t received any money from Youde since he registered with them in 2007.
Enquiries revealed that Youde had been collecting intensively in the South East Wales area over a three-year period, sometimes dressed up as a clown or as Father Christmas.
Youde was caught out when he was approached by Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Trading Standards team in a local supermarket in 2009.
Cllr Rob Gough, cabinet member for public protection said after the case: “This is a truly despicable crime, which involved duping people who believed they were donating money to a very worthy cause.
“Our Trading Standards team work extremely hard alongside our partners to help ensure that the tiny minority who feel it is acceptable to defraud people in this manner do not get away with it.”
The matter was passed to Gwent Police, who arrested Youde and carried out an investigation.
Detective Constable Becky Hayward from Gwent Police CID, said: “Youde callously duped generous members of the public into thinking the money they were donating would be going to the charity, whilst he himself was benefiting.
“We wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from making donations to charity, however we would urge people to check that collectors and the charity they are representing are genuine before doing so.”