A bogus charity collector who claimed to be collecting for a disabled brother has been locked up for 17 months after striking for a fourth time using the same scam.
Wayne Kinvig, 20, was caught out when he tried to tap up an off-duty police officer in a pub in Preston – who recognised the serial scammer and called in his colleagues.
You preyed on the very best quality of people by exercising your own worst quality.
Kinvig has already thrown away the chance of a career as a physiotherapist after being kicked off his UCLan degree course in 2011 when he turned to crime to supplement his student loan.
Since then he has pleaded guilty to a total of more than 20 counts of making false representations preying on pensioners, pub goers and sick children’s charities to line his own pockets.
Judge Robert Altham, sentencing, described his crimes as “mean, despicable offences that undermine everyone’s faith in charitable giving.”
Kinvig, of no fixed address, was on bail for similar offences committed in Cumbria when he again picked up his clipboard and headed into Preston city centre to prey on the goodwill of revellers.
Armed with a haul of fake sponsor forms, he asked for £5 and £10 donations to raise funds for medical treatment in the USA or China for a brother he claimed had cerebral palsy. He also told donors he was fundraising for a Duke of Edinburgh scheme but in fact Kinvig was using a well practised scam he has used in towns and cities across the north of England to cash in on the generosity of charity givers to fund his own ends.
On February 9 the career con man picked the wrong target when he approached an off-duty police officer who was having a drink in the Twelve Tellers pub in Church Street, Preston.
The officer recognised Kinvig and realising he was up to his old tricks, called in his on-duty colleagues to arrest him.
Kinvig pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of articles to use in connection with fraud, relating to the fake sponsor forms, a burglary at Our Lady’s Catholic Community College in Lancaster in which he broke into the bursar’s office and stole £40 cash and asked for four further counts of fraud as a bogus charity collector to be taken into consideration.
His defence lawyer, Tom Lord, said: “This is without question a course of conduct that amounts to a cynical manipulation of the Great British public’s tendency towards altruism.
“He is someone who has been ablaze across the tabloid newspapers for this type of offence before and his girlfriend, the mother of his children has also appeared in the tabloids. He was in care, she was in care, both from a very young age.
“He almost turned it all around in 2011 when he got a place at university to study physiotherapy but unfortunately he was kicked off the course when his student loan ran out and he committed the first set of offences.”
Judge Altham, sentencing, said: “You preyed on the very best quality of people by exercising your own worst quality.
“Every time these offences happen people think twice before giving money to the next charitable cause.
“You don’t only harm the people from whom you have taken (this money) - you harm everybody who is in need and would ordinarily be the recipient of charity within the community.
“I don’t accept for a minute you are remorseful. You have done this before many times. I’ve no doubt you are sorry you were caught but I have no inclination to accept your proffered words that you are sorry for what you have done. I’m certain you are not.”
He sentenced Kinvig to 74 weeks in a young offenders institution