Cash taken by fraudster Caldicot dad given to charity
11:10am Friday 11th January 2013 in News
CASH that was fraudulently taken from a fund for a severely ill young man who later died has been given to charity in his honour.
Michael Emms, from Caerwent, died in April 2011, aged 23, after he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease when he was 19.
But his father Julian Emms, formerly of Ebbw Vale and Caldicot, was later jailed for fraud after he withdrew £16,500 from a fund set up to help him fight the disease.
Lloyds Bank has now returned the cash to Michael’s grandmother, Ann Brandon, who has donated the cash to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Ms Brandon said she was pleased to present a cheque to the association to help those living with the disease.
She said: “This has been an extremely difficult time for us and I would like to thank Lloyds Bank for repaying the money to the fund.
“I would also like to thank all those who helped raised the money and for the support given to Michael and our family.”
Steve Bell, director of care (North) at the association said: “This generous donation will go quite some way in supporting local provision of care.”
More than £50,000 was raised by friends and family throughout Gwent for Michael to travel to China to undergo experimental stem cell treatment and buy specialised equipment for the 23-year-old.
It was hoped the treatment, coupled with stem cells from his half-brother’s umbilical cord, would halt the disease’s process.
In the end his half-brother’s stem cells were not used when Mr Emms, went to Shenyang in China for the treatment in December 2007.
In August 2010 his father Julian Emms took £16,500 out of the fund. Michael Emms later died in April 2011.
A court heard last year that Emms had claimed he withdrew the cash to stop grandparents Ann and David Brandon giving it to charity but the money could not be traced.
A police officer said the fraud meant the family had to take out a loan to pay for a funeral.
He was jailed for three years last April.
The cash has since been repaid by Lloyds to Ann Brandon, the charity said.
Motor neurone disease is a progressive and fatal disease that attacks the motor neurones that send messages from the brain to the muscles.
It can leave people unable to walk, talk or feed themselves.
Around 5,000 people in the UK have the disease at any one time.
Lloyds TSB would not comment on the payment.