'Homeless' HSBC beggar exposed as fraudster living in Surbiton flat

Surrey Comet: Exposed: Christopher Turner begged outside HSBC claiming he was homeless Exposed: Christopher Turner begged outside HSBC claiming he was homeless

A ‘homeless’ man who begged outside HSBC in Surbiton for years has been exposed as a fraudster living in a flat on the Alpha Road estate and receiving benefits.

Christopher Turner, 51, who lives in King Charles Road, conned generous passers-by in the town centre with hand-drawn cardboard signs and a bedraggled dog.

One sign, decorated with a Christian cross and a star of David, said: “Homeless. Please help me in this time of need. Thank you and God bless u all.”

Turner, who was born on Christmas Eve in 1961, was convicted last Wednesday at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court after admitting begging and fraud.

Surrey Comet:

Turner's signs were seized by police

When the Surrey Comet visited Turner at his first-floor flat he admitted it was not his first offence.

He said his benefits had been stopped for some time but had been sorted out since his arrest.

He declined to comment further.

Posters on local web forum surbiton.com have been warning for years Turner was not genuinely homeless.

As long as three years ago one person posted: “When he packs up at the end of each day and goes home he hides his fake luggage behind the estate agents near the bins and slides his homeless signs behind the green telecoms cabinet next to HSBC.”

Another said six weeks ago: “He was having an argument with what appeared to be a girlfriend when he said ‘You can stop complaining, I am the one who has to go out to work all day’.”

He was ordered to pay a total of £113 in fines and costs, which will be deducted from his benefits.

Surrey Comet:

Turner lives in this building on the Alpha Road estate

Turner, who was arrested in October, has several previous convictions for similar offences.

He was convicted in September and December 2010 at Kingston Magistrates’ Court for begging in St James’ Road and Victoria Road, and in August 2011 at Wimbledon for begging in Fife Road, Kingston.

Sergeant Dave Williams from Kingston police said: “This man has a home. He receives housing and other financial assistance to support his living.

“There are genuine homeless people sleeping rough in Kingston and the police work with Kingston Council and Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness to support those in true need.”

Got a story? Call the newsdesk on 020 8744 4273 or email jon.sharman@london.newsquest.co.uk.

Comments (9)

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4:21pm Tue 17 Dec 13

DB says...

Good news in that everyone seems to have known for years about this fraud but nothing has been done about it. People are stupid to give money to people like this, so you can understand the incentive.

The fine is ridiculously low as usual, but that is probably fair enough in this case as it is only coming out of his benefits funded by the taxpayer anyway!

I am not sure if there is any way to stop him doing it in the future. The fines are not a deterrant because he will have raked in many thousands over the years he has done it and he probably realises that just one more afternoon fleecing the gullible idiots of Surbiton will pay more than the fine.

A custodial sentence is probably not right either because that will just cost everyone more money and probably lead him into worse crime....
Good news in that everyone seems to have known for years about this fraud but nothing has been done about it. People are stupid to give money to people like this, so you can understand the incentive. The fine is ridiculously low as usual, but that is probably fair enough in this case as it is only coming out of his benefits funded by the taxpayer anyway! I am not sure if there is any way to stop him doing it in the future. The fines are not a deterrant because he will have raked in many thousands over the years he has done it and he probably realises that just one more afternoon fleecing the gullible idiots of Surbiton will pay more than the fine. A custodial sentence is probably not right either because that will just cost everyone more money and probably lead him into worse crime.... DB

4:30pm Tue 17 Dec 13

edstar says...

it reminds me of the "homeless" man outside earlsfield station who dosent look homeless. Well he has a fridge and cooker judging by the size of him
it reminds me of the "homeless" man outside earlsfield station who dosent look homeless. Well he has a fridge and cooker judging by the size of him edstar

4:38pm Tue 17 Dec 13

DB says...

edstar wrote:
it reminds me of the "homeless" man outside earlsfield station who dosent look homeless. Well he has a fridge and cooker judging by the size of him
This Surbiton guy really looked the part to be fair to him - gaunt, dirty and he couldn't even really talk properly by the sound of it. He certainly fooled a lot of people.
[quote][p][bold]edstar[/bold] wrote: it reminds me of the "homeless" man outside earlsfield station who dosent look homeless. Well he has a fridge and cooker judging by the size of him[/p][/quote]This Surbiton guy really looked the part to be fair to him - gaunt, dirty and he couldn't even really talk properly by the sound of it. He certainly fooled a lot of people. DB

4:54pm Tue 17 Dec 13

surboSam says...

Locals have always known about him and that the dog is his neighbours... but I am more surprised at how the Surrey Comet seems to be last to know, then again most of their journalism comes from court papers and other peoples work, it would be good to have a paper or blog that actually covered local stories rather then summarising police statements and court papers.
Locals have always known about him and that the dog is his neighbours... but I am more surprised at how the Surrey Comet seems to be last to know, then again most of their journalism comes from court papers and other peoples work, it would be good to have a paper or blog that actually covered local stories rather then summarising police statements and court papers. surboSam

10:01am Wed 18 Dec 13

Rob London says...

BAN THIS PATHETIC HUMAN FROM SURBITON AND KINGSTON!!!

Give this pathetic beggar an ASBO and ban the scumbag from Surbiton and Kingston Town Centres!
Teach this Convicted Criminal a lesson he will never forget!
Post his photo and Criminal Convictions everywhere!
Make sure he gets the message that he is UNWANTED IN OUR TOWNS!!!

Good Riddance!
BAN THIS PATHETIC HUMAN FROM SURBITON AND KINGSTON!!! Give this pathetic beggar an ASBO and ban the scumbag from Surbiton and Kingston Town Centres! Teach this Convicted Criminal a lesson he will never forget! Post his photo and Criminal Convictions everywhere! Make sure he gets the message that he is UNWANTED IN OUR TOWNS!!! Good Riddance! Rob London

4:01pm Wed 18 Dec 13

mrben1230 says...

he is an ex heroin addict but we will all be begging soon cos no one can live on benefits alone you should all ask the question why he feels the need to beg if he has a home and benefits ....he isnt out there robbing people or shop lifting he is sat asking for help at least he gets outa bed and trys to get money more than most people on benefits do! he is hardly guna be given a job lookin the way he does so fair play ....... i would like to say i met him years ago and he is a nice bloke he isnt nasty he just had a bad run of it and took the easy route ...... also like to add i do work full time and always have :)
he is an ex heroin addict but we will all be begging soon cos no one can live on benefits alone you should all ask the question why he feels the need to beg if he has a home and benefits ....he isnt out there robbing people or shop lifting he is sat asking for help at least he gets outa bed and trys to get money more than most people on benefits do! he is hardly guna be given a job lookin the way he does so fair play ....... i would like to say i met him years ago and he is a nice bloke he isnt nasty he just had a bad run of it and took the easy route ...... also like to add i do work full time and always have :) mrben1230

4:20pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Frankie79 says...

mrben1230 wrote:
he is an ex heroin addict but we will all be begging soon cos no one can live on benefits alone you should all ask the question why he feels the need to beg if he has a home and benefits ....he isnt out there robbing people or shop lifting he is sat asking for help at least he gets outa bed and trys to get money more than most people on benefits do! he is hardly guna be given a job lookin the way he does so fair play ....... i would like to say i met him years ago and he is a nice bloke he isnt nasty he just had a bad run of it and took the easy route ...... also like to add i do work full time and always have :)
He is nasty, actually. He also lies and tells people he has cancer, when he does not.

Have a word with yourself.
[quote][p][bold]mrben1230[/bold] wrote: he is an ex heroin addict but we will all be begging soon cos no one can live on benefits alone you should all ask the question why he feels the need to beg if he has a home and benefits ....he isnt out there robbing people or shop lifting he is sat asking for help at least he gets outa bed and trys to get money more than most people on benefits do! he is hardly guna be given a job lookin the way he does so fair play ....... i would like to say i met him years ago and he is a nice bloke he isnt nasty he just had a bad run of it and took the easy route ...... also like to add i do work full time and always have :)[/p][/quote]He is nasty, actually. He also lies and tells people he has cancer, when he does not. Have a word with yourself. Frankie79

12:34pm Fri 20 Dec 13

kingstonpaul says...

With a track record like this, the gentleman must qualify for a seat in the House of Lords.
With a track record like this, the gentleman must qualify for a seat in the House of Lords. kingstonpaul

10:49pm Sun 22 Dec 13

redhotbutblue says...

mrben1230 wrote:
he is an ex heroin addict but we will all be begging soon cos no one can live on benefits alone you should all ask the question why he feels the need to beg if he has a home and benefits ....he isnt out there robbing people or shop lifting he is sat asking for help at least he gets outa bed and trys to get money more than most people on benefits do! he is hardly guna be given a job lookin the way he does so fair play ....... i would like to say i met him years ago and he is a nice bloke he isnt nasty he just had a bad run of it and took the easy route ...... also like to add i do work full time and always have :)
I also know him,and although he isnt what he claims (homeless) he also doesnt get the help he needs. Although if he did get the help he needs Im sure those that usually comment on here would find another person to dig at. Shame on the police that wasted all that time and money on a "beggar" when a letter from job seekers would have been just as effective. The police should be concentrating on the gangs of pickpockets operating in Kingston and Surbiton,instead of 1 beggar.
[quote][p][bold]mrben1230[/bold] wrote: he is an ex heroin addict but we will all be begging soon cos no one can live on benefits alone you should all ask the question why he feels the need to beg if he has a home and benefits ....he isnt out there robbing people or shop lifting he is sat asking for help at least he gets outa bed and trys to get money more than most people on benefits do! he is hardly guna be given a job lookin the way he does so fair play ....... i would like to say i met him years ago and he is a nice bloke he isnt nasty he just had a bad run of it and took the easy route ...... also like to add i do work full time and always have :)[/p][/quote]I also know him,and although he isnt what he claims (homeless) he also doesnt get the help he needs. Although if he did get the help he needs Im sure those that usually comment on here would find another person to dig at. Shame on the police that wasted all that time and money on a "beggar" when a letter from job seekers would have been just as effective. The police should be concentrating on the gangs of pickpockets operating in Kingston and Surbiton,instead of 1 beggar. redhotbutblue

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