A callous thief who pocketed commuters’ charity donations at stations including Snaresbrook, Wanstead and Barkingside has been jailed for 13 months.

Roy Bardy, 48, of Henshawe Road, Dagenham, was sentenced yesterday at Blackfriars Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation.

Bardy approached two charities The NAS International charity and The Communion of True Vineyard Foundation offering his services as a collection organiser.

He recruited teams of volunteers who wore fancy dress and collected cash outside stations across eight counties at stations as far afield as Ascot and Liverpool.

But unknown to anyone he was pocketing a quantity of the donations.

Police were first alerted to the scam when commuters complained of his suspicious behaviour.

He was arrested in November 2010 after a search of his rented office revealed evidence of 81 collections or planned collections.

Although police were unable to ascertain exactly how much cash Bardy had pocketed, he admitted to taking ‘some money’ for himself

Sentencing Bardy to 13 months imprisonment for each offence concurrently, Judge Henry Blacksell said: “You saw an opportunity to make money from charities which you manipulated to your advantage.

“You made multiple fraudulent, deceiving transactions over the years. It was a breach of trust and a representation which causes people to suffer.

“You are a manipulator, and a dishonest man.”

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Mike Ganly, the case investigating officer, said: “This is a sad case that has seen commuters’ kind generosity and donations to charities unknowingly taken by Bardy and pocketed himself.

“He is a callous thief and his actions, diverting money away from charities which rely on donations to fund their good work, has resulted in those good causes suffering financial losses.”

A spokesman for British Transport Police said: “It is frustrating that we do not know exactly how much was taken and how much was donated.”

The Guardian has attempted to contact both the charities targeted by Bardy who is known to have carried out collections at stations including Buckhurst Hill, Chingford, Debden, Epping, Barkingside, Wanstead, Newbury Park, Gants Hill, Hainault, Snaresbrook, Highams Park, Walthamstow Central and Wood Street along with dozens of others across the country.