Liverpool

Liverpool bagpiping busker accused of Hillsborough con

Angus Carpenter
Image caption Passers-by would have assumed he was collecting for charity, the court heard

A bagpiping busker used a Hillsborough charity banner to dupe big-hearted Scousers into handing over money, a court has heard.

Angus Carpenter, 62, has played the Scottish instrument in Liverpool city centre for more than 30 years, usually dressed in kilt and piper's regalia.

Liverpool Crown Court heard he gave the impression he was collecting for charity three times in 2015.

He denied three charges of fraud and told the court he was busking.

Tribute not deceit

Sgt Chris Gaynor told the court Mr Carpenter was spotted by police on three occasions in 2015, each time giving the impression he was collecting cash for charity.

On one occasion his collecting bucket was adorned with stickers resembling the Help for Heroes logo and the other two with a Hillsborough Justice Campaign banner draped on his bagpipes.

Passers-by would have assumed he was collecting on behalf of those organisations, the court heard.

Mr Carpenter said he has piped for charity in the past but on these occasions he was busking.

The court heard Kenneth Derbyshire, chairman of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, said he had given Mr Carpenter permission to design and display a banner featuring the eternal flame and the word justice.

But he said he had made it clear to Mr Carpenter he was not use it to collect funds for the charity.

Mr Carpenter told the court the banner was a tribute to the victims not an attempt to deceive anyone.

He told the court he was a busker who made money from performing on the streets and he never intended to give the impression he was raising money for charity.

On occasions when he did fundraise, he said, he always insisted that representatives from the relevant charities collected the cash.

The trial continues.

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