Chesterfield blind man has to pay £7,000 back to charity he conned

Christopher Payne
Christopher Payne

A blind fraudster who conned a charity for the blind out of an estimated £7,000 has been ordered to pay the money back.

Derby Crown Court heard during a Proceeds of Crime hearing on Friday, January 22, how Christopher Payne, 57, of Byron Road, Chesterfield, defrauded The Accessible Friends Network when he was the charity’s membership administrator and treasurer.

Recorder Justin Wigoder sentenced Payne at the Derby court in November to 12 months’ custody suspended for two years with a six-month curfew after stating Payne’s “position” made prison “impossible”.

And following the court’s proceeds of crime hearing Payne has now been ordered to pay back £7,000 to the charity.

Payne admitted transferring money from the charity into his accounts and playing the charity’s bingo while not paying for a stake but claiming winnings when his numbers came up.

Mark Watson, prosecuting, previously explained Payne had been the charity’s treasurer but was voted out in March, 2015, and soon realised he was about to be found out.

Payne pleaded guilty to committing the fraud between January 1, 2012, and March 12, 2015.

Current TAFN Treasurer John Wells felt the court had shown unjustifiable leniency by imposing a suspended prison sentence due to Payne’s disability.