A former Royal British Legion vice-chairman is facing jail after he stole war medals and cheated veterans out of an emotional trip back to the Normandy battlefields. Edward Portlock, 72, of Gloucester, pocketed Â£2,228 from members who had paid him the cash to cover transport and hotel costs. He also stole and sold six Second World War medals, which had been given to him to be re-ribboned by a veteran. advertisement Eight more medals were taken from a display at the Hardwicke branch of the RBL, where he had been elected vice chairman three years earlier. Portlock had organised the trip to Normandy to mark the D-Day landings for 23 veterans, but cancelled it just a week before they were due to leave, claiming too many people had pulled out. In reality he had spent the cash to supplement his pension and never paid for any aspect of the trip. Cash raised from a sponsored sky dive was also diverted into his account. One of the sky divers had broken a leg during the fundraiser. He admitted three charges of theft, four of deception and asked for a further eight to be taken into consideration at Gloucester Magistrates Court. Magistrates, who can only hand out a maximum term of 12 months imprisonment, ruled the case was beyond their jurisdiction and sent it to Gloucester Crown Court for sentencing. Dennis Goodwin, chairman of the World War One Veterans Association, said Portlock cruelly denied many of the former soldiers a last chance to return to the battlefields. "I just threw my hands up in horror. It's such a terrible breach of trust. How could anyone do this," he said. "These are vulnerable people who may never get the chance to go to France again." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/10/05/umedals.xml Oh dear.