‘DESPICABLE’ – this was the word used to describe a father of a seriously ill girl who was jailed after he stole a £3,500 donation made by a Climping charity to help his dying daughter swim with dolphins.
Heartless Albi Elliott, 44, of Heathfield, was sentenced at Chichester Crown Court to three years’ imprisonment last Tuesday for fraud after he stole the money.
The cash was donated to his daughter, Ashanti Elliott-Smith, 11, just weeks before Christmas, in 2010, by the members of the Sussex British Motor Cycle Owners Club – who have now slammed Elliott’s disgraceful actions.
Clive Etherington, social secretary for the group, based in Climping Village Hall, said: “His actions were despicable.
“I’m totally disgusted at what he has done. How can anyone do such a thing when their daughter has only got a few years left to live.
“If I had my way, I would have locked him up and thrown the keys away.
“He is a sick man that had absolutely no heart.”
Mr Etherington explained the club had been moved by young Ashanti’s condition.
She has Progeria disease, a rare condition which makes her look older than she is. It’s an illness that is so rare only a few people in the globe have it, with many not living past the age of 15.
“She was a young girl in an 80-year-old’s body,” Clive said. “She is a lovely little girl. You couldn’t help but feel for her.”
For the full story, see this week’s Littlehampton Gazette (Thursday, July 3).