A DISGRACED Army medic who stole from a wounded ex-soldier while claiming to support vulnerable war veterans has been sacked from his job.
Gary Cameron set up a charity claiming to support Wearside and East Durham’s ex-servicemen and women struggling with life outside the forces.
But that did not stop him helping himself to a £50 gift card sent as a birthday present to injured soldier Matthew Hogan.
Cameron, who once told the Echo: “It is important to develop supportive relationships with veterans in order to help make them feel valued by society”, used the card to buy goods for himself at Asda in Boldon and Seaham.
The 47-year-old was employed by Norcare, which runs a veterans’ centre.
Mr Hogan, who was left severely disabled after suffering a gunshot wound to the head during his time in the services, had been a resident at the Norcare centre before moving to his own accommodation.
Newcastle Magistrates’ Court was told that Mr Hogan’s father had sent him a £50 Asda gift card inside a birthday card, but accidentally sent it to his old address at the centre.
Mr Hogan, 43, dropped by a few days later to pick it up, only to discover it was not there.
Asda was then able to trace where the transactions on the card had been carried out, and found CCTV showing Cameron using it. After he was arrested, the dad-of-three initially denied the offences. The court heard he claimed he found the card on the ground near a newsagent’s.
After pleading guilty to one count of theft and three counts of fraud, Cameron was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.
Bosses at Norcare today told the Echo Cameron had been removed from his position with the company.
Chief executive Susan Bickerton said: “We can confirm that we have dismissed Gary Cameron. He does have a right to appeal.
“As soon as this matter was brought to our attention, we took it very seriously and took action in accordance with our internal procedures, including carrying out a thorough internal investigation.”