Grays man admits stealing £2,500 from triple amputee Canvey soldier

Thurrock Gazette: Alex Stringer and wife Danielle (Picture Peter Lawson Eastnews Press Agency) Alex Stringer and wife Danielle (Picture Peter Lawson Eastnews Press Agency)

The best man of a soldier blown up in Afghanistan has admitted secretly stealing thousands of pounds from him just weeks before his wedding.

Conor Aldous , 22, callously stole £2,500 of compensation cash from triple-amputee Private Alex Stringer just weeks before helping him walk down the aisle on artificial legs.

Private Stringer, from Canvey, lost both his legs and his left arm in a massive explosion after stepping on a Taliban improvised explosive devise while serving his country in Afghanistan in January 2011.

He had been attempting to rebuild his life by organising his dream wedding to childhood sweetheart Danielle Stringer, for July 2012 when the sickening thefts occurred.

Aldous, from Grays, had been trusted with access to bank accounts and PIN codes to help care for and assist his friend during his recovery from life-changing injuries.

But Aldous abused that trust in a cynical bid to steal £2,500 in June 2012 – just weeks before he was best man at Private Stringer’s wedding.

The unemployed thief, from Grays, admitted one count of theft when he appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court today.

The court heard how Aldous was allowed to live at the family’s home on Canvey whilst secretly stealing their money.

Lesley Chipps, prosecuting, said: “The complainant was serving as a soldier for the British Army.

“In 2011, he stepped on a land mine and later received a substantial settlement for his injuries, some of which came from Help for Heroes.

“The complainant needed care so the defendant lived at the address to help as carer.”

A statement from Private Stringer, read out in court, said: “I’ve known the defendant since we were at school.

“He said he wanted to help and would sleep on the sofa. He used to help out around the house.”

The thefts were only discovered after the wedding when a routine call from the bank revealed a £40 transaction had in fact been £100.

The couple, who have three young children, then reviewed their bank statements in horror only to find a number of unauthorised transactions by Aldous.

Naomi Pitt, mitigating, said her client had been struggling with the death of his mum and spiralling debts when the thefts occurred.

Magistrates granted Aldous unconditional bail ahead of sentencing at Basildon Crown Court next month.

Aldous refused to comment when approached outside of court.

Today full-time mum Danielle Stringer, 22, spoke of the devastating effect the theft has had on Alex, 23, and their young family Millie, five, Harlie, three, and one-year-old Jessica.

She said: “We feel really let down as Conor was a part of the family.

“We’re happy he pleaded guilty but it still doesn’t cover the credit card he drained.

“Alex will have to work to pay it off which hardly seems fair.”

Alex recently unveiled a wheelchair-friendly picnic bench he designed for Help for Heroes at Chavasse VC House, a recovery centre for injured soldiers and veterans in Colchester.

He has since left the army and is planning on returning to college.

 

Comments (8)

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7:19pm Wed 19 Feb 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

No words can describe the person, stealing from this heroe.
No words can describe the person, stealing from this heroe. carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: 27

7:42pm Wed 19 Feb 14

whataday says...

Completely agree with you. I cannot believe somebody could be so utterly despicable No excuses for what he's done to his "friend" - didn't Aldous think his "friend" had suffered enough. Unbelievable how low some people can stoop.

To Mr and Mrs Stringer I hope there is some way you will be able to trust people again - although I think this will be very difficult for you. What a let down your "friend" was. You are well rid of him -
Completely agree with you. I cannot believe somebody could be so utterly despicable No excuses for what he's done to his "friend" - didn't Aldous think his "friend" had suffered enough. Unbelievable how low some people can stoop. To Mr and Mrs Stringer I hope there is some way you will be able to trust people again - although I think this will be very difficult for you. What a let down your "friend" was. You are well rid of him - whataday
  • Score: 24

8:33pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Ontheball says...

Piece of scum
Piece of scum Ontheball
  • Score: 28

10:14pm Wed 19 Feb 14

InTheKnowOk says...

There are some worthless dregs in our society and this one heads straight to the top of the list ...
There are some worthless dregs in our society and this one heads straight to the top of the list ... InTheKnowOk
  • Score: 27

10:20pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Kim Gandy says...

Some kind of "friend" that is.. Who needs enemies with friends like that?

"Naomi Pitt, mitigating, said her client had been struggling with the death of his mum and spiralling debts when the thefts occurred."

This is no excuse. Lots of people go through that kind of adversity but stealing from a friend, especially a hero who has literally been in the jaws of hell is even worse.

I wish this couple the very best.
Some kind of "friend" that is.. Who needs enemies with friends like that? "Naomi Pitt, mitigating, said her client had been struggling with the death of his mum and spiralling debts when the thefts occurred." This is no excuse. Lots of people go through that kind of adversity but stealing from a friend, especially a hero who has literally been in the jaws of hell is even worse. I wish this couple the very best. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 21

9:51am Thu 20 Feb 14

Howard Cháse says...

Send the toerag out to Afghanistan armed only with a peashooter and with a target painted on his back.
Send the toerag out to Afghanistan armed only with a peashooter and with a target painted on his back. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 11

11:19am Thu 20 Feb 14

Indred Cold says...

Lock up and throw away the key
Lock up and throw away the key Indred Cold
  • Score: 8

6:41pm Fri 21 Feb 14

IanBDavis says...

The saddest bit about all this is he only had to ask for Alex's help with his issues. Alex would have tried to help his 'friend' because that's his nature.
The saddest bit about all this is he only had to ask for Alex's help with his issues. Alex would have tried to help his 'friend' because that's his nature. IanBDavis
  • Score: 0

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