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Lee Rigby charity fraudster ordered to pay back seven times less than he took

Gary Gardner was jailed for two and a half years in September for two counts of fraud.

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Gary Gardner, 56, found guilty in connection with a fraud fun-raiser for Fusilier Lee Rigby’s young son arrives for sentencing at Leicester Crown Court.

Gary Gardner, 56, found guilty in connection with a fraud fun-raiser for Fusilier Lee Rigby’s young son arrives for sentencing at Leicester Crown Court.

Gary Gardner, 56, found guilty in connection with a fraud fun-raiser for Fusilier Lee Rigby’s young son arrives for sentencing at Leicester Crown Court.

A fraudster who failed to hand over more than £20,000 raised for the son of murdered soldier Lee Rigby has been ordered to pay back a little over £3,000 in compensation.

Gary Gardner was jailed for two and a half years in September for two counts of fraud committed in the three years after the fusilier’s murder in 2013.

The 56-year-old lorry driver used some of the £20,250 to “prop up” his overdrawn bank account and to make a charity single he “knew would be a flop”.

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Lee Rigby (Family handout/PA)

Lee Rigby (Family handout/PA)

Press Association Images

Lee Rigby (Family handout/PA)

He put on truck-pull events in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in the Leicestershire villages of Medbourne and Market Harborough, and Stroud, Gloucestershire, which were attended by thousands of people including Fusilier Rigby’s widow and son Jack.

At a five-minute Proceeds of Crime Act hearing on Friday, Leicester Crown Court was told Gardner still benefited from £18,318.89 from the Jack Rigby Charitable Trust, but he was only ordered to pay the sum of his assets which was £3,247.53.

Judge Philip Head told Gardner: “I am told you have assets in the sum of £3,247.53  and I make a confiscation order for that amount.

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Gary Gardner (PA)

Gary Gardner (PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Gary Gardner (PA)

“You have three months in which to pay it… you will serve a further two months in prison if you do not.”

The judge insisted Gardner, of Old Holt Road, Medbourne, Leicestershire, pay all funds in compensation to the Jack Rigby Charitable Trust before concluding the short hearing.

After Gardner was jailed in September, Fusilier Rigby’s widow Rebecca said a further trial was like reliving the earlier court case, adding: “I feel that this matter with Mr Gardner will draw the eyes of the world upon us again.

“I feel disgusted about Mr Gardner not making good his promises with regard to my son and abusing my family name.”

PA