Woman, 35, who led a high profile ‘No More Knives’ campaign after her brother was brutally stabbed to death appears in court accused of pocketing a ‘significant’ amount of money from her own charity
A woman who led a high-profile campaign against knife crime after her brother was stabbed to death has appeared in court accused of pocketing money from the charity she set up in his memory.
Kayleigh Pepper, 35, is accused of defrauding the Rich Foundation out of a significant sum of money over a four-year period from its launch in 2016, shortly after her brother Richard Pepper was killed in east Hull aged 25.
She made local and national headlines after she set up the charity and helped to raise money for families and victims of crime.
Ms Pepper joined Hull Live’s No More Knives campaign to raise awareness and stamp out knife-related crime.
She has now appeared in court accused of fraud by abusing her position as a trustee of the Rich Foundation to make a gain for herself by using its money for her own purposes between July 1, 2016 and April 9 last year.
Kayleigh Pepper (left) is accused of defrauding the Rich Foundation out of a significant sum of money over a four-year period from its launch in 2016, shortly after her brother Richard Pepper was killed in east Hull aged 25
She made local and national headlines after she set up the charity and helped to raise money for families and victims of crime. Ms Pepper joined Hull Live’s No More Knives campaign to raise awareness and stamp out knife-related crime
Pepper appeared before Hull Crown Court under the name Kayleigh Towler and the case was adjourned.
No plea was taken because Pepper’s scheduled barrister, Nigel Clive, had not been told about the hearing and had already left court.
His colleague, Stephen Robinson, told the court: ‘I am here to apologise for what’s happened today.
‘Counsel from my chambers has been instructed but, sadly, this case was missed by our clerking staff on the list and not put in his tray.
‘He has long since left today and can’t be contacted. It’s a significant case of fraud. I haven’t had a chance to look at the case and apologise to the court.’
Pepper no longer lived in Hull and had ‘travelled some distance today’, said Mr Robinson.
Prosecutor Felicity Hemlin said that an updated case summary, with more details of the matters involved, would be prepared.
Judge David Tremberg told Pepper: ‘I am sorry we can’t make progress. It was hoped that the purpose of today’s hearing would be to identify what your plea would be and to take the matter on from there one way or another.
‘Unfortunately, there seems to have some mix-up and your barrister isn’t here. You are going to have to see him.’
Pepper started the Rich Foundation after her brother Richard, known as Rich, was stabbed to death in Egton Street in 2015
Pepper wore a heavy green coat with a hood, black trousers and black shoes. As she left court with her father, she put on a yellow bobble hat and carried a large black bag. It was confirmed in court that Kayleigh Pepper and Kayleigh Towler are the same person.
Pepper started the Rich Foundation after her brother Richard, known as Rich, was stabbed to death in Egton Street in 2015. His killer, Daniel Flatley, was jailed for 11 years for manslaughter.
Pepper had become a leading anti-knife campaigner and had spoken out earlier this year after the tragic death of Corey Dobbe in Hull.
She had appealed to the people of Hull to take knife crime seriously and wanted Corey’s family to find justice.
Pepper spearheaded Hull Live’s No More Knives campaign, aimed at educating people about the dangers of carrying knives. The campaign was supported by Humberside Police.
She said at the time: ‘Rich was a big lad, standing over 6ft tall and weighing around 18 stone, yet one stab wound ended his life.
‘The blade tore through several organs, almost cracking his eighth rib, eventually piercing his heart. The wound caused so much damage internally he had five full blood transfusions.
‘The hole in his heart was finally repaired but it was too late. He was pronounced dead, leaving us absolutely heartbroken.’
She asked on Facebook: ‘What will it take for people to take knife crime seriously? How many more families have to suffer? How much more pain do loved ones have to go through?
‘Six years of missing him and it never gets any easier. Our hearts ache more every day.’