Disabled British Empire Medalist Battles Fraud, Bank and Bodily Struggles


Tony Hawkins, a resilient advocate for the disabled community and recipient of the 2018 British Empire Medal, has been met with a financial hurdle. The ex-police officer from Llandysul, Ceredigion, reliant on a wheelchair due to spinal issues and severely impeded in speech and movement after a series of strokes, found himself without access to his bank account for over a month. Santander froze his card following unauthorized withdrawals. To this day, more than £3,200 has been withdrawn without Mr. Hawkings’s consent, causing him immense distress and financial strain.

David Morgan, a retired police inspector and a reliable friend to Hawkins, stepped in to aid in the debacle. Upon Hawkins pointing out unauthorized deductions from his account, Morgan initially reached out to Santander. However, they were unable to assist due to his lack of account holder status. Even after reporting to Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime in the UK, the issue still stands unresolved.

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Hawkin’s predicament worsened when his trusted carer conveyed the debacle of his defunct debit card, an essential lifeline for Hawkins to cater to his necessities. The setback resulted in him borrowing money from friends and relying on aids from the local authority.

While Santander proclaimed willingness to review and extend the right support options, the bank’s commitment to help Mr. Hawkins has not yet yielded results. This case illuminates the complexities that disabled individuals may face in resolving banking dilemmas. David Morgan has now resorted to applying for a power of attorney over Mr. Hawkings’s financial affairs, a process yet to be completed due to the complicated nature of the situation.

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