Norwich charity box thief 'duped' public into donating

A man who took a collection box from a charity shop then used it get donations from passers-by has been sentenced.

Jesse Day, 23, of Norwich, stole the box from Happy Dogs charity on Queens Road on 24 January and used it to "beg" in Gentleman's Walk.

A police officer who knew Day became suspicious when he saw him shaking the box and asking for money.

Day admitted theft and fraud by false representation and was given a 12-month community order by city magistrates.

'Fairly appalling'

When the officer went to the shop to check Day's claim that he was a legitimate collector, Day walked in with the box and said he wanted to return it, the court heard.

Judith Piggin, prosecuting, said it contained about £1.50 in coppers, but was due to be emptied when it was stolen and usually contained about £16.

"He had no intention of raising funds for the charity, the intention was to raise funds for himself," said Ms Piggin.

The court heard Day, of William Mear Gardens, Thorpe Hamlet, had a previous conviction for dishonesty.

Rob Pollington, for Day, said it was a "fairly appalling" offence and abused the trust of everyone who had made a donation.

"People would have felt better for giving to charity, having been duped into that by Mr Day," he added.

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