THE BEST man of a triple amputee soldier has been jailed after stealing thousands from him.
Former Bicester soldier Alex Stringer’s best man Conor Aldous was arrested in 2012 over missing money from Mr Stringer’s bank account.
Aldous, 22, of Longhouse Road, Chadwell St Mary, Essex, was jailed for 10 months after he earlier admitted one count of theft relating to £2,500 belonging to Mr Stringer.
Less than two years before, Aldous, a former school friend, helped Mr Stringer walk down the aisle wearing prosthetic legs to marry his childhood sweetheart Danielle.
The couple, who now live in Canvey Island, Essex, have three children, Millie Taylor, five, Harlie-Rose Stringer, three, and Jessica, one.
Basildon Crown Court heard Aldous had volunteered to be a carer to Mr Stringer and had been trusted to access his bank account and pin number.
The former soldier lent Aldous £50,000 to fly his mother’s body home after she died in Spain.
After that, Aldous began withdrawing cash from the war veteran’s bank accounts, something which led to rows between Mr Stringer and his fiance.
In July 2012, the couple’s statements showed two £400 withdrawals from a cash machine on Canvey, while Mr Stringer was in hospital.
The couple confronted Aldous but he denied stealing the cash. He later admitted it via the Facebook website.
After the hearing, Mr Stringer said: “We gave him absolutely everything he needed. I’ve known him since school. He even helped me walk down the aisle on my stumps on my wedding day.
“But he twisted that friendship. To cover up his thefts, he convinced me we were overspending on our wedding. When we found out, I gave him the chance to admit it. Instead, he chose to confess through Facebook. The guy is a coward. It is our children’s money and future that he stole.”
Jailing Aldous on Tuesday, Judge David Owen-Jones said: “I accept when you went to Mr Stringer’s home, you wanted to help. But this was a mean offence committed against a school pal, who trusted you and accommodated you in his home. He was extremely vulnerable when you abused that trust.”
After the sentence, investigating officer DS Natalia Ross said: “He stole £2,500 from a man he was supposed to have been looking after..”
Aldous was ordered to repay all the money.
HOW A BOMB CHANGED HIS LIFE
Alex Stringer, a former private with 23 Pioneer Regiment, based at St David’s Barracks, near Bicester, lost three limbs in an explosion in Afghanistan which engulfed him in a fireball and left him fighting for his life in January 2011.
Aged 21, he had been called out to search for improvised explosive devices as part of a specialist team to locate Taliban booby traps in Lashkar Gar, Afghanistan. But as he and five comrades stepped out of a safe area, Mr Stringer stood on a bomb. It is understood Mr Stringer received £800,000 compensation from the Army.