Neighbour who stole medal and money veteran Ray Whitwell convicted

Ray at the Airborne Cemetery Oosterbeek in 2019
Foto: DM van Hellesem

England/Yorkshire – 45-year-old Vincent Morgan has been convicted by a British court of stealing a medal from Arnhem veteran Raymond Whitwell (103) and robbing him of his live savings.

The medal he stole, was given to Ray for the remembrance of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. One of the many battles in which Ray would participate during the Second World War. Morgan also drained Ray’s bank account and stole £ 4.240.

Money he drank and gambled.

Offering to help

Morgan, who is Ray’s neighbour at his house in North Yorkshire, offered to help him out in his garden but had very different plans, prosecutor Alneas said during the trial. It was agreed that Ray would pay Morgan 10 pounds per hour, for 2 hours of work in the garden he paid him 20 pounds. But already the next day Morgan asked to borrow money. £30 until he got a check. Ray was promised by Morgan that the money would be paid back as soon as possible and that he was honest, straightforward even.

Raymond trusted his neighbour, gave him his bank card so that he could withdraw the money. Morgan returned with the card, showed Ray the £30 and left. Between August and October 2020, Morgan borrowed money from Ray several times and Ray always gave it to him in the same way. Unaware that the ‘honest and straightforward’ neighbour was plundering his entire bankaccount.

Until Ray got his bank statement and realised what had happened. The, now, 103-year-old veteran who lives alone and has few family to visit him, got help from his nice neighbours who helped him contact the police. One of the neighbours said she’d been worried all along that something like this was going on.

Battle of Britain

Morgan was arrested and a brown envelope with Raymond’s name on it was found during a house search. It contained the commemorative medal for the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. He was charged with fraud, theft and handling stolen goods. At first he pleaded innocent. Said Ray gave him permission to take his money and the medal was given. But he repented, confessed and now seems to be deeply ashamed of what he did.

The court heard the bank where Ray has his account, decided to return the money stolen from him

Judge Ashurst had no good words to say about Morgan’s actions. He said he had taken advantage of a vulnerable elderly man who is highly respected. Stole from him not only thousands of pounds but also an object of great sentimental value related to his military service record.

“At the heart of your offending was a deception you played upon him that you would do gardening work,” the judge added. “You were drinking heavily, gambling and taking money out of his bank account, (sometimes) several hundred pounds at a time, and all that money was dissipated on alcohol and gambling.”

“Mr Whitwell said how upsetting and distressing he found the whole event. He said he had never been a victim of crime before and hoped that in the years left to him, he never would be.”

Morgan’s actions were branded as disgraceful and he was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Source: Yorkshire Post

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