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FRAUD FOCUS; Charity man stole pounds 500k to buy 105 car wrecks on eBay.

Byline: RICHARD SMITH

A CHARITY accountant has been banged up for siphoning off pounds 560,000 to buy old bangers.

Eccentric Brendan Joyce, 57, bought 105 cars but he usually shunned expensive models in favour of clapped-out wrecks.

The divorced dad-oftwo snapped up the heaps of junk on eBay and stored them in 80 garages, which cost him pounds 50,000 a year to rent.

Joyce, who was the accountant at a hospital charity, has been jailed for three years.

His stockpile included Vauxhall Carltons, two caravans and a trailer.

The court heard that when police searched Joyce's home it was "cluttered from floor to ceiling with boxes" and it was clear he was a hoarder.

Prosecuting lawyers said some of his cars were valuable including Triumph Stags, Jaguar XJs, two funeral limousines and two vintage Morris Minors.

Passing sentence, Judge Michael Roach told Joyce: "You took considerable efforts to ensure what you were doing was covered up by paperwork that you were responsible for. At a time when medical charities need all the money they can get, they have been put to considerable loss."

Accountant Joyce had worked for 17 years at Above and Beyond, a charity raising cash for nine Bristol hospitals.

Bosses examined the finances after Joyce was sacked for forging their fire alarm certificates.

It was found he had paid himself pounds 562,000 from funds relating to two firms and a charity swimming club whose accounts were managed by Above and Beyond.

Prosecutor James Bennett told Bristol crown court Joyce drew 676 company cheques made payable to himself or to cash. He also created invoices for work that was never done.

Joyce, who was arrested at his home in Whitchurch, Bristol, last July, admitted five frauds and asked for 152 similar offences to be considered. They had been committed over five years.

Defence lawyer Tabitha Macfarlane said Joyce was addicted to buying cars on eBay, adding "only one or two were of some worth". Charity Above and Beyond said it was "saddened to be a victim of this situation".

CAPTION(S):

CLAPPED OUT Joyce's cars OBSESSION 3 A Daimler in garage and, right, Joyce
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 24, 2012
Words:359
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