Corby man accused of £10k nightlight theft dies in Rotterdam detention centre

Bedford was awaiting extradition to the UK on suspicion of human trafficking

By Kate Cronin
Monday, 1st June 2020, 12:25 pm
James Bedford
James Bedford

A man accused of stealing £10,000 from a Corby homeless charity is believed to have taken his own life awaiting extradition from the Netherlands.

James Bedford, 34, had a criminal past and had been the chief suspect in the theft of £10,000 donated by Corby people to the town's Nightlight charity.

The money went missing from Nightlight in November 2018, when former chief executive Nicola Pell was in charge of the charity. Some money was later returned to the charity.

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Bedford, who had previously lived at Bede Close as well as several other addresses in the town, was questioned about the Nightlight theft but never charged. The Northants Telegraph understands that officers struggled to get the cooperation of some key witnesses. Officers confirmed this week that, following Bedford's death, they had closed the case and are not believed to be looking for anyone else in connection with it.

He had been due to appear at court last August to face separate charges of driving a silver Audi TT without insurance and a licence and driving while disqualified. These charges related to an incident in Gainsborough Road in February, 2019.

But Bedford, who also goes by the name Jamie Jones, never turned up to that court appearance, and was later found to have gone abroad, causing him to miss probation appointments.

Then earlier this year, he was arrested in The Netherlands on suspicion of people trafficking and sent to a detention centre at Rotterdam airport, awaiting extradition. No more details are available of that suspected offence.

In early March, Bedford was found hanged at the detention centre. The Northants Telegraph has contacted the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security for comment.

An inquest into his death has been opened by the Northamptonshire Coroner and will take place next year.

A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said: "A 34-year-old man arrested in connection with this case has died and therefore this investigation has been discontinued.”

Bedford had previously served jail time for offences including theft, cocaine possession and failing to appear at court. He had also been a rough sleeper in the town on occasion.