Man stole thousands raised for son of slain soldier Lee Rigby, made ‘flop’ music track – prosecutors A man who organized fundraisers to supposedly help the son of a British soldier brutally killed in London kept the money for himself and used part of it to make a music single that he knew would “flop,” according to prosecutors.
Gary Gardner, a 56-year-old Lorry driver, organized three truck pull fundraising events in 2013, 2014, and 2015. He claimed those events were to benefit the son of British soldier Lee Rigby, who was murdered by Islamic extremists near his barracks in southeast London in 2013.
“There were talks of climbing Kilimanjaro, there were a number of things he wanted to do to raise funds for [Rigby‘s son] Jack,” Rebecca, the mother of Rigby‘s son, told the court. “He spoke about large money – thousands – and it was as if it would set Jack up for life.”
But Rigby‘s family didn‘t receive any of the money raised from those events, which prosecutors say amounts to at least £24,000.
Instead, Gardner kept the cash for himself, spending “questionable amounts of money” on travel and expenses for himself in London, according to the prosecution, which said that it “appears that the defendant has spent all the money he received.”
Gardner also used some of the money to produce a charity music track which he knew would “flop,” the court heard.
A total of £4,000 did apparently make its way to various charities, with the prosecution stating that they were token payments designed to avoid investigation into his affairs, LeicesterLive . But those contributions still didn‘t find their way to Rebecca or her son.
“Jack and myself have never received a penny from him,” Rebecca responded when asked if she had ever seen any of the cash.
Gardner has denied the three counts of fraud that he is charged with. The trial remains ongoing.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!