Belfast Telegraph

Oscar Knox fund fraud claim

Man accused of not handing over £1,000 raised for charity

By Deborah McAleese

A man has been charged with fraud linked to the charity fundraising efforts of the Oscar Knox Appeal.

The charge is understood to be linked to a fundraising event in Lisburn in October last year.

The 33-year-old man is accused of raising almost £1,000 at a charity event but not handing it over to the appeal.

He is due to appear before Lisburn Magistrates Court later this month.

A PSNI spokesman said: "A 33-year-old man has been charged with fraud by false representation.

"He is due to appear before Lisburn Magistrates Court later this month."

Brave toddler Oscar Knox died in May at the age of five, following a two-and-a-half-year battle with a rare and aggressive form of cancer, neuroblastoma.

He was diagnosed with the condition at the age of two, in November 2011.

In October 2012, he received specialist treatment in America after his family reached their £250,000 fundraising target to pay for immunotherapy treatment.

After the initial diagnosis, his parents set up a Twitter account so they could update friends and family on Oscar's condition each time he was in hospital.

The account quickly attracted thousands of followers among them celebrities and families whose children have the same condition.

The Twitter account became a phenomenon in June 2012, after a group of Irish football fans posed for pictures in Dublin airport before heading off to the European football championship with a flag saying "Angela Merkel thinks we're at work".

Oscar - who had been allowed to stay up late to watch the matches - and his father Stephen, made their own flag saying "My ma thinks I'll be in bed early" and then tweeted a picture of it.

The football fans were so touched by the picture they decided to auction their flag to raise money for the toddler. Oscar also received support from Olympic boxer Paddy Barnes, who dedicated his quest for a medal to the toddler.

The Belfast boxer tweeted "I'll win it for ya, kid" after winning one of his bouts and was interviewed wearing his Team Oscar wristband which he also wore in the ring.

The Celtic Football Club also lent its support to the youngster with former star John Hartson who himself battled cancer, selling Team Oscar armbands at a book signing.

Oscar was finally given the all-clear in April 2013, but the cancer returned in August 2013 before his death.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph