A man who dressed up as a naval officer and collected more than £200 in donations has been given a community order.

Alex Foster of Leyton Grange in Leyton collected the cash while standing with a charity bucket outside Wembley Park station during a National Football League game in October 2016.

After British Transport Police officers noticed his medal ribbon did not appear genuine, the 45-year-old was arrested and charged with one count of fraud by false representation and one count of possession of articles for use in fraud.

He denied the charges and was found guilty by a jury at Blackfriars Crown Court on Thursday, March 8 and sentenced to a two month community order and curfew. The judge also ordered his uniform and collection bucket to be destroyed.

Inspector Dan Tanner said: “Foster wore a convincing uniform and exploited the popularity of military charities by fraudulently collecting donations from the travelling public at a busy sporting event.

“He did, however, wear an incorrect medal ribbon which initially brought him to Police attention.

“In a short space of time before his arrest, he had already collected over £200 which he intended to keep for himself.”

The arrest was made as part of Operation Sovereign – a police operation targeting fraudulent charity collecting on the rail network.