‘Desperate’ charity conman is jailed

‘Desperate’ charity conman is jailed

‘Desperate’ charity conman is jailed

First published in News by

A “DESPERATE” formerly homeless man protested as he was sent to prison for conning people out of cash by claiming he was collecting for charity.

Daniel Scarff, 28, said he would lose his job and end up back on the streets, after a judge at Basildon Crown Court sentenced him to eight months.

Scarff was sleeping on a park bench when he knocked on people’s doors in Benfleet, saying he as raising sponsorship for a charity run he was taking part in to help a depression charity.

Between March and June this year, Scarff took between £5 and £10 from each person on their doorstep, collecting £54 in total. The court heard the majority were aged in their 60s and 70s.

Defence solicitor Matthew Bone, mitigating, said Scarff, now living in Farnham Avenue, Wickford, had committed the crimes out of desperation.

He said: “He is now in work for a pension company in Fenchurch Street and has a home in Wickford.

“He was homeless for a long time and he would spend his benefit money on temporary accommodation, but when the money ran out he had to leave.

“It was motivated by a desire to obtain money to survive.”

When people asked him for identification, the court heard he claimed the Echo was sponsoring him.

The fraud came to light when one of his victims got suspicious and rang the newspaper, which confirmed it knew nothing about Scarff or the made-up charity.

The person then rang the police.

Judge David Owen-Jones sentenced Scarff to eight months in prison for each offence, to run concurrently.

He said: “This was a mean, well-planned, targeted series of behaviour in order to con moderately vulnerable people for a bogus charity that never existed.

“Two of the individuals you conned suffered from depression themselves.

“We are, in this nation, one of the most charitable, giving people in the world.

“It’s behaviour such as this which dents that confidence and people lose faith, as some people have indicated in their statements in this case.

“I’m afraid I have come to the opinion the only way to deal with you is a custodial sentence.”

 

DANIEL Scarff had to be taken to the cells after he criticised the judge while being sentenced.
Judge Owen-Jones repeatedly had to stop while delivering his judgment as Scarff interrupted him, after the judge said he was sending him to prison.
He accused the judge of making him homeless again.
Scarff said: “What is the logic in this? I will now lose my job and my home.
“I want to apologise to everyone about this, I want to do that and now I can’t.
“I’m not proud. I’m really sorry. But I didn’t target vulnerable people. I would never do that. I was desperate.”
Security officers eventually led Scarff away to the cells before the sentence could be fully read out.
Mr Bone apologised to the judge for the outburst on his client’s behalf.
Judge Owen-Jones said: “It’s understandable someone about to be sentenced becomes agitated.”

Comments (10)

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6:46am Fri 1 Aug 14

danger2013 says...

Maybe he could start the sponsored run on the prison exercise yard.
There is a good chance hes lying about working for a pension company in London. The court dont check these things. However if its true they probably had a lucky escape.
Maybe he could start the sponsored run on the prison exercise yard. There is a good chance hes lying about working for a pension company in London. The court dont check these things. However if its true they probably had a lucky escape. danger2013
  • Score: 2

7:40am Fri 1 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Hope they tell his employer about his dodgy criminal past.
Hope they tell his employer about his dodgy criminal past. sesibollox
  • Score: 5

9:33am Fri 1 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

so this chap gets banged up and the high street pop up shop brick in a box suspect notes conmen are ignored.
so this chap gets banged up and the high street pop up shop brick in a box suspect notes conmen are ignored. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 6

9:44am Fri 1 Aug 14

supermadmax says...

Absolutely ridiculous.

We have crime after crime - violent, serious drug dealing, burglary etc... granted suspended sentences, the evidence is in this paper daily.

Then we get this guy, who was genuinely desperate and homeless, does not go robbing or mugging people (and strictly speaking he was collecting for charity) He has turned his life around, has a job and flat and that muppet Judge Owen-Jones gives him 8 months, by the time he gets out in 4 he will be out of work and back on the streets, with little option but to commit more crime. This is a RARE example of when a suspended sentence should have been used.
Absolutely ridiculous. We have crime after crime - violent, serious drug dealing, burglary etc... granted suspended sentences, the evidence is in this paper daily. Then we get this guy, who was genuinely desperate and homeless, does not go robbing or mugging people (and strictly speaking he was collecting for charity) He has turned his life around, has a job and flat and that muppet Judge Owen-Jones gives him 8 months, by the time he gets out in 4 he will be out of work and back on the streets, with little option but to commit more crime. This is a RARE example of when a suspended sentence should have been used. supermadmax
  • Score: 4

9:44am Fri 1 Aug 14

supermadmax says...

sesibollox wrote:
Hope they tell his employer about his dodgy criminal past.
Well given he has just got 8 months, I think they will cop on when he does not show up to work, you idiot.
[quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: Hope they tell his employer about his dodgy criminal past.[/p][/quote]Well given he has just got 8 months, I think they will cop on when he does not show up to work, you idiot. supermadmax
  • Score: 2

11:18am Fri 1 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

supermadmax wrote:
sesibollox wrote:
Hope they tell his employer about his dodgy criminal past.
Well given he has just got 8 months, I think they will cop on when he does not show up to work, you idiot.
well he don't call himself silly-B0ll0x for nothing.
[quote][p][bold]supermadmax[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: Hope they tell his employer about his dodgy criminal past.[/p][/quote]Well given he has just got 8 months, I think they will cop on when he does not show up to work, you idiot.[/p][/quote]well he don't call himself silly-B0ll0x for nothing. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 4

11:58am Fri 1 Aug 14

John Right says...

Robin Reliant wrote:
so this chap gets banged up and the high street pop up shop brick in a box suspect notes conmen are ignored.
Sounds like you got stung good and proper, take like a man - don't bother a copper.
[quote][p][bold]Robin Reliant[/bold] wrote: so this chap gets banged up and the high street pop up shop brick in a box suspect notes conmen are ignored.[/p][/quote]Sounds like you got stung good and proper, take like a man - don't bother a copper. John Right
  • Score: -3

11:59am Fri 1 Aug 14

pembury53 says...

sounds like owen jones had a bad day, maybe the missus overdone his poached eggs that morning, and by jove, someone was going to pay .....
sounds like owen jones had a bad day, maybe the missus overdone his poached eggs that morning, and by jove, someone was going to pay ..... pembury53
  • Score: 4

12:49pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Howard Cháse says...

Is Judge Letemoff on holiday this week?
Is Judge Letemoff on holiday this week? Howard Cháse
  • Score: 2

12:57pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Controversial1 says...

£54. is that it? This whole story sounds like the echo trying to clear their name as he said they were sponsoring him and they wanted their hands washed. What a waste of tax-payers money hauling it through court and locking him up.
£54. is that it? This whole story sounds like the echo trying to clear their name as he said they were sponsoring him and they wanted their hands washed. What a waste of tax-payers money hauling it through court and locking him up. Controversial1
  • Score: 2

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