A GRANDFATHER accused of using money from a trust set up for his ailing grandson as if it was his own appeared in court on Tuesday (December 3).
Colin Nesbitt, 58, allegedly stole more than £345,000 over a six year period from the Little Heroes Cancer Trust. The charity was set up after his grandson was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and was intended to help raise money for children and families affected by the disease.
Prosecutor James Lake told jurors at Bradford Crown Court that Mr Nesbitt “used the charity’s money as he pleased” between 2009 and 2015, paying large sums into secret bank accounts. He said Nesbitt treated the charity’s money as his own, had deposited funds into three different accounts and had made two unsecured loans to employees, misleading The Charity Commission.
The court heard that the majority of the money was raised through sponsored fire-walking events usually at pubs throughout the country, but that Mr Nesbitt emptied the collection bags, “using trustees as puppets.” Mr Nesbitt was the only person with full access to the charity’s bank accounts and made all of the financial decisions.
The defendant’s barrister Matthew Donkin said 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 grandfather has denied all charges, which includes five counts of fraud by abuse of position, three counts of supplying false and misleading information to The Charity Commission by under-declaring the charity’s revenue, and one charge of stealing revenue from the trust. He also denies having a secret bank account or tearing open money bags to remove the contents.
Nesbitt, from Bingley in West Yorkshire, England, was arrested in October 2015. As Euro Weekly News understands, at the time of his arrest, he told police that financial management was not one of his strong points and his accountancy skills were ‘atrocious’.