Ex-councillor given four months suspended sentence

Richard Vallery-Peters ENGSUS00120121107121819
Richard Vallery-Peters ENGSUS00120121107121819

A former councillor has received a four month prison sentence suspended for 12 months after admitting defrauding a children’s charity in Africa.

Richard Vallery-Peters, 48, of Ashburnham Road, last month pleaded guilty at Lewes Crown Court.

He admitted one charge of fraud by false representation against the Tanzania based charity Network for Vulnerable Rescue Foundation.

Yesterday, Vallery-Peters, arrived at Hove Crown Court on crutches for sentence, and was also ordered to pay £954.74 in compensation.

Vallery-Peters had previously met the Queen in recognition of his charitable work.

The court heard how he failed to pass on the proceeds of a sponsored walk for the charity which helps impoverished children in Africa. In September 2011, he carried out the sponsored walk to raise money for the charity and collected around £950.

The charges relate to the period between September 2011 and May 2012. The defence argued that Vallery-Peters had regularly donated to other charities and has a history of raising money for local charities which led to him being invited to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace partly in recognition of his charity work.

The court previously heard that Vallery-Peters was hoping to get some extra money which he was entitled to due to his poor medical condition and would then try to repay the charity.

He represented the Baird ward in 2004, was re-elected in 2008 but lost his seat in 2012. Vallery-Peters had one previous conviction for drink-driving in 2002.

The Judge said that people who gave money to charities were entitled to think that it was going to the charity they had chosen to donate to.

The sentence means that if Vallery-Peters commits an offence he will be jailed for four months.