THE best friend of a tripleamputee soldier has been jailed for stealing thousands of pounds from him.
Conor Aldous, 22, took £2,500 from former Private Alex Stringer – then helped him down the aisle as best man at his wedding.
Aldous, of Parsonage Road, Grays, was jailed for ten months at Basildon Crown Court yesterday.
He admitted theft at an earlier hearing before Southend magistrates.
The 23-year-old Canvey ex-soldier lost both legs and his left arm after stepping on a Taleban bomb in Afghanistan in 2011.
After the attack, he moved to Chadwell St Mary with childhood sweetheart, Danielle, and their three children.
Charlotte Davison, prosecuting, told the court Mr Stringer had a carer and nurse, but Aldous, who had known him since school, had insisted on moving in to help with his care. He was trusted with access to Mr Stringer’s bank account and PIN number.
The court heard when Aldous’s mother died in Spain in 2011, Mr Stringer let him borrow £50,000 to fly her body home.
After that, Aldous began withdrawing cash from the war veteran’s bank accounts, something which led to rows between Mr Stringer and his fiance.
In July 2012, the couple’s statements showed two £400 withdrawals from a cash machine on Canvey, while Mr Stringer was in hospital.
The couple confronted Aldous but he denied stealing the cash. He later admitted it via the Facebook website.
Aldous’s lawyer, Matthew Bowman, admitted to the court: “Alex Stringer was disabled serving his country and this man breached that trust and nowhas to live with the shame.
“It is very difficult to understand why he did this in the context of Mr and Mrs Stringer’s generosity.”
As well as jailing Aldous, Judge David Owen-Jones, ordered him to to pay back £2,500. The judge added: “I accept when you went to Mr Stringer’s home, you wanted to help.
“But this was a mean offence committed against a school pal, who trusted you and accommodated you in his home. He was extremely vulnerable when you abused that trust.”