01/07/2014 08:01 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Dad Stole Dying Daughter's Charity Money



A dying girl's dad has been jailed after he stole £3,500 of charity money intended to help her swim with dolphins.

The money was given to Albi Elliott's daughter Ashanti Elliott-Smith, 11, who has a rare condition called Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome. This makes her look much older than she is and means she is not expected to live past the age of 15.

It was donated to her from the Sussex British Motorcycle Owners Club in 2010 for her trip, but Elliott spent it within two months at Tesco and on taking out insurance.

He went with her to charity fundraisers where they were selected for the donation by the club.

Elliott told the club that Ashanti's mother Phoebe was too ill to attend the cheque presentation, but when she went to another event a month later she said she knew nothing about it.

​He lied to police repeatedly, telling them that the cash was in his mother's safe and later in a field in Heathfield East Sussex.

However, his mother said she had not spoken to him for four years and didn't own a safe, and police didn't find anything in the field.

Elliott, 44, was sentenced to three years after a judge branded his actions as 'despicably devious'.

Prosecutor Gareth Burrows told jurors at Chichester Crown Court: "There was talk of dolphins and holidays and it was for that or very closely related purposes."

Ashanti's mum Phoebe told The Sun: "To me it's the same as abuse, and it's heartbreaking for Ashanti to know he has ruined her wish.

"Albi has been convicted for stealing off his terminally ill child, robbing her of her final wish and that disgusts me."