Pair jailed for fake Help for Heroes charity collections outside Wembley Stadium

Kevin Rowbotham, left, and Daniel Malone

Kevin Rowbotham, left, and Daniel Malone - Credit: Archant

Two fake charity collectors who duped football fans into giving donations outside Wembley Stadium have been jailed for a year.

An aerial view of Wembley Park

An aerial view of Wembley Park - Credit: Archant

Kevin Rowbotham, 43, from Abbey Wood, south east London, and Daniel Malone, 40, from Maidstone, Kent, claimed to be collecting on behalf of Help for Heroes during the England v Denmark match in March last year.

Blackfriars Crown Court head the pair collected the donations in red charity buckets while wearing genuine Help for Heroes jackets, but used fake identity cards which the charity does not use.

When an officer from the British Transport Police asked them if they had permission from the charity to collect on its behalf Malone showed him an email from September 2013 - but it stated he had permission to collected money for a sky dive not outside a football match.

Police carried out further inquires and the pair were arrested later that month.

Officers discovered Rowbotham had been a registered collector for the charity in 2012 and had been given 100 wristbands for which the charity did not receive any proceeds.

They also seized various medals and certificates for fundraising at his home.

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In addition, while Malone has raised £800 in 2011 by taking part in a sky dive and was due to take part in another one, he had not been given permission to collect outside the stadium.

Last week, both men were convicted of fraud and jailed.

Inspector Dan Tanner said: “These two men fraudulently made money from the travelling public at high profile events and unfortunately did so by affiliating themselves with Help for Heroes.

“No type of fraud or crime will be tolerated on the rail network and I am pleased with the sentence handed down will give them some time to reflect on their behaviour.”

Jo Pearce, income protection officer at Help for Heroes, said: “Malone and Rowbotham deceived the public into thinking they were making donations which would help our wounded. Instead they were cashing in on public goodwill and using the money for their own personal gain. Our anti-fraud measures helped the police catch him and we’re delighted they have now been brought to justice.”