Man stole from son's and other children's cancer funds

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Media captionPeople who raised money for Kevin Wright told the BBC, the fraudster was "sick" and "the lowest of the low"

A man has been found guilty of stealing from children's cancer charities, including one to help his own son.

Kevin Wright, who lived in Devon before moving to Staffordshire, was found guilty of 10 counts of theft and two of fraud at Nottingham Crown Court.

The 49-year-old was found not guilty of another count of fraud.

Prosecutors said Wright took £171,500 to fund his "interests, investments and personal lifestyle", including an investment in a village pub.

The money stolen included donations of £60,000 made by charities Caudwell Children and Janet Nash.

Wright set up a number of successful appeals for sick children, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds between 2005 and 2008.

These included the Bobby Wright Cancer Fighting Fund and a company called Bobby's Fund, set up for his son, who, in April 2005, at three-years-old, was diagnosed with the rare form of cancer, neuroblastoma.

Wright, who lived in Exeter before moving to Quince in Amington, claimed he wanted to take Bobby to America for treatment and supplement his NHS treatment with holistic and natural therapies.

'Personal lifestyle'

Wright also stole cash and credit balances from fundraising campaigns he set up to raise money for cancer treatment for Callum Kaye, aged three, and Armani Mohammad, also aged three.

He said he had wanted to help others in a similar situation after Bobby, who is now aged 11 and cancer-free, responded well to a variety of therapies.

He sold raffle tickets, had collection boxes and allowed donations through the appeal websites.

The money went into Wright's personal bank account, the court heard.

He gave £20,000 to a friend who ran a used-car business and that he put £60,000 into Premium Bonds.

Another £30,000 was used to buy the Toad in the Hole restaurant in Exeter, while a further £30,000 was invested in the Royal Oak pub in a village close to his home.

Wright was originally charged with 20 counts but prosecutors dropped seven charges.

He will be sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on 5 September.

Wright's 43-year-old wife, Jacqueline, had also been charged with one count of converting criminal property but the charge was dismissed.

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