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  1. ITV Report

Fraud trial of Shelterbox founder begins

The trial of Tom Henderson, the founder of the Cornish charity Shelterbox, is underway in London.

Please note that Tom Henderson is no longer being associated with ShelterBox since his dismissal in 2012.

He is charged with fraud and two other offences. Also charged alongside him are his son John and and Darren Gervis from Beaminster.

The allegation is that Thomas Henderson authorised large supply contracts for his son John.

When these were questioned by the management and trustees of ShelterBox Thomas Henderson recruited Darren Gervis to create sham or front companies to mask John Henderson's involvement.

The essence of the case therefore is an allegation that there was an agreement between the three of them, principally Thomas and John Henderson, that John should be kept as a supplier of goods and services to Shelterbox.

Everything possible was done to ensure that would happen, whatever objections there may be from other employees and the trustees of ShelterBox and in doing so he also gained significantly financially.

It is said that ShelterBox itself may have lost the opportunity of verifying that these contracts were good value and were competitive but additionally it exposed ShelterBox to a risk of loss in a number of different ways.

– Walton Hornsby, Prosecutor

Henderson founded the charity in 2000 and was appointed OBE in 2010 for his work.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall became the charity's President and Royal Patron in August 2007.

The trial is due to last ten weeks.

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