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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Exclusive: police probe charity stalker Gerry Freedman

This news post is over 6 years old

Unemployed man thought to have targeted charities across the UK with a campaign of harassment is being investigated by the police

A police probe has been launched amid allegations serial job applicant Gerry Freedman has been attempting to extort hotel accommodation, travel expenses and cash from charities across the UK.

And we can reveal Freedman has moved on to harassing charities in England since TFN blew his cover.

Since exposing the serial chancer last week, several organisations have contacted TFN from Manchester, London and even Bristol.

TFN has passed a dossier to Police Scotland after being inundated with dozens of complaints from charities, colleges and universities complaining they had been harassed by the 40 year old fantasist.

Last week we revealed how Freedman has been targeting often small charities across Scotland with fake disability legislation, threatening legal action if they don’t give in to his outlandish demands.

Dozens of charities have told TFN his incessant demands has diverted them from their operations – spending vital cash on legal advice and having to go through the lengthy process of re-advertising posts.

His tactic is to take the money and run - Jason Forsyth

But his reach extends beyond the Scottish charity sector.

An HR manager of a leading English university said Freedman had “turned nasty” after being refused an interview for a board member position.

His application included threats of legal action if the university didn’t fly him business class to London, handed over cash for meals and refreshments and a two-day stay over for him and his carer in a plush four star city hotel.

She said: “He started a tirade of abuse when we initially rejected his application. Even though we are well-versed in disability law, we had to create new policies specifically in response to his incessant applications.”

Faced with these new allegations Freedman told TFN in a rant: “As a disabled man this is a hate crime against me. I have merely been applying for jobs which I am entitled to apply for. This is victimisation. I’m reporting you to the police.”

However we can confirm that detectives from Police Scotland are to meet with TFN as part of a probe into Freedman’s campaign of harassment.

A number of other organisations say that they have individually made complaints to police regarding the behaviour of Freedman.

Clare Scott who runs an autism outreach charity in the borders said she felt fearful Freedman was going to turn up at her organisation when she turned down his application.

“He told me I was discriminating against a gay Jewish man who was disabled. I wasn’t quite sure what the relevance of this information was but he was turned very aggressive very fast.

“I called the police who advised me not to respond to any more of his correspondence but it left me looking over my shoulder for weeks. We’re a small charity and can’t really deal with these issues. It was frightening.”

Among the most recent of Freedman’s outlandish demands made to English organisations is that he must have first or business class air fares and access to exclusive airport lounges.

In one application he stated: “You are required by law to meet all of these reasonable adjustments. If you do not you are committing a crime.”

At least four charities have told TFN they invited Freedman to interview in an attempt to stop his constant harassment - only for him not to appear.

Jason Forsyth, a lawyer and charity board member with a Manchester charity, challenged Freedman two weeks ago after he applied for a post at board level.

“His tactic is to take the money and run,” he said. “I’m quite sure he’s been striking it lucky occasionally and this spurs him on.

“My advice to all organisations is his application should be instantly rejected. You won’t be taken to task. The problem is he has been getting away with it so it is up to us all to stop him.”



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over 1 year ago

This person is an absolute disgrace and has no business being in the Conservative party