A man accused of stealing tens of thousands of pounds from a fund setup to raise money for his son's cancer treatment has been found guiltyof theft & fraud.
Kevin Wright from Amington in Staffordshire set up the Bobby WrightCancer Fighting Fund in 2005 after his then 3-year old son BobbyWright was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a rare form of cancer.The aim was to raise at least £250,000 to send Bobby for specialistanti-body therapy at the Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Centre inNew York.
Numerous donations poured in - including 2 pledges of £30,000 eachfrom the charities Caudwell Children & The Janet Nash CharitableSettlement.But when his son responded well to the treatment he received, insteadof returning the money, Wright told the court he decided to use thedonations to help other sick children.But prosecutors say he used large amounts of money to fund hispersonal interests & investments - including putting £31,000 into arestaurant he owned & giving £20,000 to a friend for his used-carbusiness.As well as the Bobby Wright Cancer Fighting Fund, Wright also set upappeals to help other children battling cancer - including Callum'sAppeal (Callum Kaye) & Marni's Appeal (Armani Mohammed)The court heard Callum's Appeal raised £700,000 but only £13,000 wasspent on the youngster.
Wright's fund-raising activities eventually came to light after he wasreported to Nottinghamshire police. Kimberley Robertson tolddetectives that Wright had set up an appeal for her son ArmaniMohammed in 2008. She told the jury she later became concerned thatthe Appeal was a scam.The court heard that neither Bobby Wright or any other child ever wentto the cancer centre in America for treatment.
Today the jury at Nottingham crown court found Kevin Wright guilty of10 counts of theft & 2 counts of fraud.
Wright was cleared of a further charge of fraud.He's due to be sentenced next month.