Burnley bogus charity collector conned elderly

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court

A CHARITY fraudster duped Burnley pensioners into donating money by claiming his little brother had cerebral palsy, Burnley magistrates heard.

Wayne Kinvig (18) conned kind-hearted people as old as 77 into handing over sponsorship cash – telling them his sibling was suffering from the brain condition.

The teenager, of Elm Street, was said to have knocked door-to-door asking for sponsorship before he was reported to the police by an off-duty community support officer who feared he was “bogus”.

The father-to-be pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud by false representation at Burnley Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that Kinvig first struck at the home of a 68-year-old woman on July 31st claiming he was collecting money for a friend’s brother who was suffering from stem cell disorder. She handed over £4 to Kinvig.

Probation officer Emma Johnson spotted Kinvig collecting money at the address. She spoke to the defendant and found he was not collecting money for stem cell disorder.

It was reported to the police who went to Kinvig’s house and found him hiding in the attic. He was arrested and interviewed where he made no comment.

But Tom Snape (prosecuting) said: “He has gone on to commit seven further similar offences despite being under investigation by police at the time.

“There were a number of elderly people that the defendant has taken advantage of indicating he was collecting sponsor money for a local boy.”

He explained that the defendant visited the home of a man in his 20s claiming to be collecting money for his brother who had cerebral palsy at the beginning of September. He claimed he was doing his Duke of Edinburgh and had raised £34,000 and needed a further £5,000. The man gave him £2.50 in change.

A 76-year-old woman handed over £1 when Kinvig knocked at her door before he struck again at the home of a 75-year-old woman in Sussex Street asking for donations for a sponsored walk up Pendle Hill.

The victim said that the defendant was carrying a clipboard and gave £2. A 26-year-old man pledged £10 to Kinvig, because he thought it was to help a local boy, but did not hand the money over up front.

A 77-year-old woman gave the defendant £6 after he said he was doing a sponsored boxing event for cerebral palsy and a 45-year-old woman from Berwick Drive donated £5.

But off-duty PCSO Tracy Parks became suspicious when Kinvig called at her home asking for donations. He could not produce any official ID when asked so she contacted the police.

The court heard that Kinvig, who was 17 at the time of the offences, had an “unenviable” record with 40 offences dating back to 2009.

Philip Turner (defending) said that his client had not targeted specific people and had only taken small amounts of money from his victims.

He said: “There was no persistence and nobody was under any pressure physically to contribute. In fact the victims referred to him as ‘polite, friendly and appreciative’ – possibly because he is a polite, friendly and pleasant young man. He has no convictions for violence or public order activities.”

He added that Kinvig had no convictions at all until he went into local authority care.

He was committed for sentence at Burnley Crown Court on November 30th.