WATCH: Charity tin thief caught on CCTV in Portsmouth pub

  • Lee White, 35, stole three charity tins from city pubs
  • Fundraisers have hit back at ‘disgusting’ thief who was jailed
  • He is now serving a 12-week sentence for the thefts
Have your say

CHARITIES have told of their disgust at a thief who stole collection tins.

Lee White, 35, has been jailed for 12 weeks after taking three boxes from two pubs and a restaurant.

Clinton Prince, who set up Tom Prince Cancer Trust in his son’s name, has said the thefts were ‘low’.

Clinton, 57, of Haslemere Road, Southsea, set up the trust after Tom died of rare osteosarcoma bone cancer in 2004 aged just 15.

He said: ‘To steal from a charity is the lowest form of theft I can think of.

‘It shocks decent hard-working people to their core that somebody was as low as that to steal from a sick child.

Lee White, 34, of Locksway Road, Milton, caught on CCTV stealing a charity box. He has been jailed for 12 weeks

Lee White, 34, of Locksway Road, Milton, caught on CCTV stealing a charity box. He has been jailed for 12 weeks

‘Words fail me, I’m disgusted – it’s upsetting for the people who put money in there to give to a good cause.

‘It’s other people’s generosity that helps fundraise for osteosarcoma. For him to steal money from a charity box is quite beyond belief.

‘If he thinks he’s hard done by he should try a visit to Piam Brown at Southampton General Hospital or St Mary’s Hospital.’

White stole a tin collecting cash for the young persons charity Motiv8 from the Milton Arms pub, in Milton Road, on February 5.

It’s other people’s generostiy that helps fundraise for osteosarcoma, for him to steal money from a charity box is quite beyond belief

Clinton Prince

Pub co-owner Chris Vaux, 35, had chosen to raise cash for the charity as it was closely linked to his best friend Matt Berry, a 34-year-old DJ, who died in March 2014.

Chris said: ‘Initially I was very, very upset, I was very angry.

‘It brings it closer to home – you hear about these things, but it’s only when it happens to you that you realise.’

He added: ‘You’ve got to be particularly desperate to take money given in good faith.

‘The perpetrator has a track history of this type of thing and he’s not learnt from his mistakes.’

Chris praised Portsmouth police and the legal process after White was appeared in court and was jailed seven days after the theft.

White had targeted Pie and Vinyl, in Castle Street, on December 20 last year when he stole the cafe’s tips pot.

Then on January 28 he stole a charity tin from the Bangkok Restaurant in Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth.

White then took the Tom Prince Cancer Trust tin from the Thatched House pub in Milton on February 3.

Steve Hudson, co-owner with Chris of the Milton Arms posted a still of CCTV on Twitter showing White’s face after the theft.

Hundreds of people shared the photo online – leading police to identify White, of Locksway Road, Milton.

Sgt Rob Sutton, of Portsmouth police, said White handed himself in after the CCTV was widely shared.

‘Every bit of money going to a charity makes a difference,’ Sgt Sutton said.

‘It’s really damning.’

The full CCTV footage captures a bungling White sitting at the bar grabbing the tin, putting it in his jacket and nearly dropping it.

Magistrates jailed White for 12 weeks for the offences committed on December 20 last year, January 28, February 3 and February 5.

The reason given for jailing him was because he has ‘substantial’ like offences, he committed the offences while on licence and he targeted charitable organisations.

White must pay an £80 victim surcharge but no compensation was ordered.