ONE of the many South Devon fund raisers for the Bobby Wright Cancer Fighting Fund has described his bitterness after Bobby's father was found guilty of stealing tens of thousands of pounds from the charity.
Kevin Wright, who set up the fund to raise money for the treatment of children with cancer, including his own son Bobby, was found guilty of ten counts of theft and two of fraud stealing a total of £171,500.
Bobby was diagnosed with neuroblastoma – a rare form of cancer – at the age of three in 2005.
Ken Stone, a singer and organiser, who raised thousands of pounds for the appeal with shows in Dawlish Warren and Torbay, said he had always found Wright 'arrogant'.
Ken, 73, of St Edmund's Road, Torquay, who has raised £94,000 for various charities over the years including Rowcroft Hospice, said it had not put him off fundraising and he was still aiming to run a hundred marathons and raise £100,000.
"Kevin Wright was arrogant with us at the time. I thought he was big headed. We weren't raising money for his sake, but for Bobby."
Ken said that it was a cause close to his heart as a young relative had undergone a similar serious illness and they had spent a lot of time in hospital at Bristol.
But he said: "I wasn't surprised when Wright was in court, when people are arrogant like that, you are not surprised what they do. We did a show for Bobby at Plainmoor and raised about £3,500 for them, and raised over £1,000 at Dawlish and running a marathon. But it hasn't put me off."
Wright, 49, from Quince, Amington, Staffordshire, also stole cash and credit balances from appeals he set up to raise money for cancer treatment for youngsters Callum Kaye, aged three, and Armani Mohammad, also aged three. The court heard money went into Wright's personal bank account to fund his "interests, investments and personal lifestyle".
After Bobby, who is now aged 11 and cancer-free, responded well to a variety of holistic and natural therapies, Wright said he wanted to help others in a similar situation. Wright, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, was found guilty of ten counts of theft and two of fraud by false representation. He was cleared of one count of fraud by false representation. He will be sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on September 5.