Lee Rigby fund fraudster ordered to repay £3,247

UK
Gary GardnerImage copyright PA
Image caption Gary Gardner used the money to reduce his overdraft and release a charity single

A fundraiser who failed to hand over £20,000 raised for murdered soldier Lee Rigby’s family has been ordered to pay back more than £3,200.

Gary Gardner, 56, was jailed for two and a half years for frauds committed after the fusilier’s murder in 2013.

Gardner, of Medbourne, Leicestershire, raised about £24,000 but only £4,000 made its way to any charity.

A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing was told he had assets of £3,247 and he was ordered to pay that amount.

Fusilier Rigby was killed outside Woolwich Barracks in south-east London in May 2013 in a terror-related attack.

Image caption Lee Rigby was killed outside Woolwich Barracks in south-east London in May 2013

A trial in September heard that Gardner put on three truck-pull events attended by thousands, including Fusilier Rigby’s widow Rebecca and son Jack, in aid of the Jack Rigby Charitable Trust.

But the court heard the lorry driver used £20,250 to “prop up” his overdrawn bank account and to make a charity single he “knew would be a flop”.

The jury found him guilty on two counts of fraud. He was cleared of one count which alleged he failed to keep a record of the amounts raised from fundraisers.

At the Proceeds of Crime Act hearing, Judge Philip Head told Gardner: “I am told you have assets in the sum of £3,247.53 and I make a confiscation order for that amount.

“You have three months in which to pay it. You will serve a further two months in prison if you do not.”

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