Kayleigh Pepper, 37, was released from prison “a few days ago” after serving about five months of her 20-month sentence for fraud. Now the brazen fraudster insists she ‘deserves a chance to move on’ – despite being targeted by the Rich Foundation, which she helped set up and run in memory of her brother, died after a stabbing incident in Wincolmlee, Hull.
Despite recovering £47,748 from the foundation, Pepper now claims her two young children now sleep on inflatable beds because she cannot afford proper beds.
The mother said: “I never imagined in a million years that I would find myself in this position and I can only sincerely apologize for the hurt I have caused. I deserve the chance to go moving forward with my kids. I just felt like I needed to say that.”
She appeared in Hull Crown Court for a Proceeds of Crime Mention Hearing, which is looking at whether looted money can be recovered and repaid in these cases.
Speaking about the estimated £47,748 figure, prosecuting Ashleigh Metcalfe said: “I don’t think that’s in dispute.”
But Pepper, who was seated in the row behind her in court, immediately said, “Absolutely, it’s in dispute.”
On the day she was jailed, Pepper showed up in court with £2,000 which she offered to hand over as compensation, Hull Live reports. Miss Metcalfe said Pepper pleaded guilty on the grounds that she only took £20,000, but that was not accepted by the prosecution.
The case resurfaced at a proceeds of crime hearing to determine whether the looted money could be recovered and repaid.
The £2,000 she had offered in compensation could not be accepted that day and the prosecution took the view that it had been “dissipated”. Pepper claimed that £1,700 of the £2,000 belonged to someone else and had apparently since been returned to them.
The prosecution does not know where this money went. Defense barrister Nigel Clive claimed that because of this only £300 was actually available for possible seizure and not the other disputed £1,700.
But Pepper, wearing a gray top, asked to speak directly in court and became tearful and emotional as she said: ‘The £2,000 in question is money I brought to court on March 11.” She claimed the prosecution only became aware of his existence due to what she called their own “honesty” in making him available.
She said she had two young children and they now slept on inflatable beds, not proper beds. “If I had money now, my children would sleep on beds,” she said. “I never imagined in a million years that I would find myself in this position and I can only sincerely apologize for the hurt I have caused. I deserve the chance to move forward with my kids. I just felt the need to say it.”
The prosecution have asked for court orders to be made for inquiries to be made into the fate of the £2,000 in question. The case will return to court once investigations are complete for a final proceeds of crime hearing.
In a previous hearing, Pepper admitted to defrauding by abusing her position as a director of the Rich Foundation to make a gain for herself by using her money for her own purposes between July 1, 2018 and April 9, 2020. .
It is said that she used the foundation’s money to buy her own food and clothes, which would not benefit the foundation. She started the Rich Foundation after her brother Richard, 25, known as Rich, was stabbed to death in a shocking street attack in 2015.
The man who delivered the fatal blow to Rich’s heart, Daniel Flatley, was jailed for 11 years for manslaughter. Pepper had become a leading anti-knife campaigner and spoke out last year after the tragic death of Corey Dobbe in Hull. She had called on the people of Hull to take knife crimes seriously and wanted Corey’s family to get justice.
She led Hull Live’s No More Knives campaign aimed at educating people about the dangers of carrying knives and she did so in memory of her brother. She said at the time: “Rich was a big boy, standing over 6ft tall and weighing around 18 stone, but a stab wound ended his life.
“The blade ripped through several organs, nearly cracking his eighth rib, eventually puncturing his heart. The wound caused so much internal damage that he had five full blood transfusions. The hole in his heart was eventually repaired but he was too late. He was pronounced dead, leaving us absolutely heartbroken.”