Charity fraud man is given an eight month prison sentence - but walks free after serving his time while on remand

Alek Sire

Alek Sire - Credit: Archant

A man who set up shop selling furniture, bric a brac and second hand electrical goods has been given an eight month prison sentence for charity fraud - but was freed after serving his time on remand.

Alek Sire, was found guilty of fraud and drug offences and was given an eight month prison sentence at Cambridge Crown Court.

Sire, who was previously known as Sir Alek Sire and also Sir Raphael Merlotte, formerly of Somersham, was charged with four linked charity frauds following his arrest at the former Black Hart public house at Thorney Toll.

He was also charged with supplying a Class B drug, possession of a Class B durg and possessiion with intent to supply Class B controlled drug.

The victim in all three alleged frauds is Fenland District Council and the charges relate to claims that the umbrella organisation he ran, the Rose Project, was a registered charity.

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Police are thought to have linked three separate addresses to the alleged fraud- the Black Hart, and addresses in Oldfield Lane and Norfolk Street, Wisbech.

Sire has previously run a launderette and a health and well being centre in Station Road, March.

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The Station Road premises used to host a website which referred to it as being a centre for the Templar Church “and dedicated lecture and open forum of the Knights Templar in the modern world, revealing the true magic performed”.

The website said that Knight’s Temple was “a diverse group of religious warriors in the United Kingdom. Our Order welcomes both men and women to explore their inner self and discover the lies of this world, fed to all with the help of leaders and in particular Governments.

“We are determined to complete the work of the Knights Templar by working toward unity, whilst demonstrating how scriptures have been ‘diluted’ over many centuries for the greed of a few. Knight’s Temple is dedicated to living by the code of Spiritual Warriors, a way of life that fears none and has pure focus in enlightenment for all.”

The Rose Project worked with the Wisbech food bank to hand out 263 items for local people in need and Sire had described himself as chairman.

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