Jail for charity conman

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A CONMAN, who went door-to-door in Battle claiming to be a charity collector, has been jailed for five months.

Freddy Reed-French, of Hastings, told people the money was going to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The 23-year-old was seen collecting in the Battle area by two police officers on August Bank Holiday Monday last year.

He had an RNLI sponsored bike ride form and a quantity of cash, both of which were seized, and he was asked to contact police with proof he had completed the event.

But Reed-French never provided that proof and was subsequently arrested and charged with possessing or controlling an article for use in fraud.

On March 24 he appeared at Hastings Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to five months’ imprisonment.

Detective Constable Carol Shoesmith said: “This was an outrageous attempt at conning people out of their money for what they believed was a cause very close to many people’s hearts.

“Some gave very personal accounts and reasons for giving their very generous donations.

“However, I am pleased to say we were able to contact all of the donors who helped us with our enquiries and wanted their donations passed on to the RNLI at the end of the investigation.”