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Help for Heroes speak out against fraudster

Help for Heroes say the public have been shocked by the case of Christopher Copeland from mid-Devon, who has been jailed for stealing £300,000 through fake charity collections.

Copeland deceived the public into thinking they were making donations which would help our wounded. Instead he was stealing from them and using the money for his own personal gain through a deceptive web of fraud which took detectives three years to untangle. We have been astonished by the response of the public. Many of those defrauded by him have contacted us to express shock that someone would use organised and criminal tactics to prevent money supporting the wounded.

– Jo Brookes, Income Protection Officer at Help for Heroes

Man gets four and a half years for defrauding charity

Christopher Copeland sentenced to four and a half years Credit: ITV West Country

A man who gathered £300,000 in donations for Wiltshire charity Help For Heroes and kept the money for himself has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

52 year old Christopher Copeland from mid-Devon admitted fraud and money laundering at Exeter Crown Court.

He had a team of staff, who believed they were raising money for charity legitimately, who took old military vehicles, branded with the Help for Heroes logo, to supermarkets and shopping centres all over the country. The money raised never reached the charity but was instead used to subsidise Mr Copeland's own business which was in financial difficulty and has since gone into liquidation.

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Help for Heroes 'collector' to be sentenced

Christopher Copeland has admitted fraud of £300,000. Credit: Claire Hayhurst/PA Wire

A man is due to be sentenced today after defrauding the Wiltshire based charity Help for Heroes out of hundreds of thousands of pounds. Christopher Copeland from Devon admitted taking £300,000 over an eighteen month period. He's been told by the judge that he faces a 'lengthy' jail sentence.

Police say charity collector alerted police to Copeland

Christopher Copeland from Devon has been told he faces a long prison sentence after defrauding the charity Help for Heroes out of £300,000. DCI Mike Robison from Devon and Cornwall Police spoke to ITV Westcountry outside court today and told us it was one of the charity collectors Copeland was using that became alerted the police.

"He used a lot of charity collectors who went all over the country using military vehicles that were liveried with the Heroes livery on them. And the public, seeing these types of vehicles, would have quite legitimately given their money believing it was going to the charity when actually it didn't."

– DCI Mike Robison

Man pleads guilty to stealing £300,000 from Wiltshire charity

Christopher Copeland Credit: Irving of Exeter

A man has been told he faces a long jail sentence after defrauding the Wiltshire-based charity Help for Heroes out of £300,000.

Garage owner Christopher Copeland organised charity supermarket collections with teams of volunteers, but failed to give the money to the charity.

The 51-year-old pleaded guilty. He will be sentenced on 15th September.

Bionic soldier defies medical opinion

A former Lance Corporal from Wiltshire is being hailed a bionic man after a remarkable return to fitness.

Seven years ago doctors told Jonathon le Galloudec he'd never walk again after he was shot in Iraq. Within months he'd proved them wrong.

Now the forces charity Help for Heroes are hoping to use his example to persuade the government to fund similar carbon fibre splints.

Richard Payne reports

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Former Wiltshire soldier runs again thanks to bionic splints

A former soldier from Wiltshire, paralysed in an attack in Iraq, has started running thanks to the UK's first bionic splints.

Jonathon Le Galloudec was shot in the spine 7 years ago but has defied the experts with technology previously only available in America. If his trials are successful, the charity Help for Heroes will campaign for them to be funded by the NHS for injured veterans.

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