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Hackney conman sentenced for Tube charity scam

PUBLISHED: 10:59 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:03 04 December 2017

A file image of a Central Line Tube train.

A file image of a Central Line Tube train.

Archant

A conman who posed as a charity worker and stole cash from Tube passengers has been given a suspended sentence.

Bartholomew Black, of Glenarm Road, Homerton, was spotted by an off-duty TfL employee carrying out the scam on the Central Line. He was using a fake charity ID card and asking people to drop spare change into a bucket.

The quick-thinking TfL worker took a photo of the man and sent it to British Transport Police, and an officer recognised Black from previous incidents.

Black, 36, was arrested as part of Operation Sovereign, which targets fraudulent charity collecting on the rail network.

He pleaded guilty to possession of articles for use in fraud at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Monday and was given a 12 week sentence suspended for 18 months.

He must also do 20 days of rehab, pay £100 compensation and £115 to victim services.

Charity collections are not allowed on underground trains.

BTP Insp Michael Tanner, who leads Operation Sovereign, said: “Black preyed upon the generosity of the travelling public, using a charity identification card and bucket to steal donations.”

TfL’s Steve Burton, added: “The deceitful actions of Black took advantage of the public’s goodwill by collecting fraudulently and stealing donations.”

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