Leeds & West Yorkshire

Children's cancer charity founder 'stole £345k'

Colin Nesbitt Image copyright Ben Lack
Image caption Colin Nesbitt took £345,000 from the children's cancer charity, Bradford Crown Court was told.

The founder of a children's cancer charity stole £345,000 over six years by paying its money into his own bank accounts, a court has heard.

Colin Nesbitt, 58, set up the Bradford-based Little Heroes Cancer Trust in 2008 after his grandson was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2007.

Prosecutors told Bradford Crown Court Mr Nesbitt "used the charity's money as he pleased" between 2009 and 2015.

Mr Nesbitt, of Kent Road, Bingley, denies five fraud charges.

Prosecutor James Lake told jurors the Little Heroes Cancer Trust had been set up to raise money for children with cancer and their families.

He said the majority of the money was raised through sponsored fire-walking events usually at pubs throughout the country.

The court heard Mr Nesbitt was the only person with full access to the charity's bank accounts and made all the financial decisions.

"The prosecution allege that from 2009 to 2015 he treated the charity's money and the charity as his own business," said Mr Lake.

"He used the charity's money as he pleased. He stole from the charity."

The defendant's barrister Matthew Donkin said his case was that at no stage had Mr Nesbitt behaved dishonestly, set out to mislead or sought to look after himself at the expense of the charity.

The trial continues.

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