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Nephew of soldier serving in Afghanistan rapped for stealing Poppy Appeal funds in Longfield

Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal collection boxes
Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal collection boxes

A teenager who stole two Royal British Legion poppy collection boxes has been branded the “lowest of the low”.

The 16-year-old admitted taking the charity money from two Longfield shops, including one as the world fell silent to honour our fallen heroes on Remembrance Day.

But the youth claimed he had no idea what the cash was for – despite having an uncle serving on the frontline in Afghanistan.

Refusing the Messenger’s request to lift reporting restrictions on identifying the boy, district judge Michael Kelly told him: “You should be ashamed of yourself."

Former soldier Darren Riley, Dartford’s poppy collection organiser, said: “People who steal poppy collecting tins are the lowest of the low.

“Our troops are putting their lives on the line every day only for selfish idiots like this to hold two fingers up to them.

“It’s an absolute disgrace and an insult to our servicemen and women.”

The youth, from West Kingsdown, wore jeans and trainers as he pleaded guilty to two theft charges at Dartford Youth Court on Tuesday.

Adrian Rohard, defending, said: “It’s bad enough to steal any charity box, but to do take these at this time of year is particularly unsavoury and both the boy and his family acknowledge the gravity of the offence.”

The judge ordered he carry out 24 hours of training at a youth offender centre and pay £70 compensation

For the full story, see this week's Gravesend Messenger.

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