Fraudster pretended she was going into labour to try to avoid police arrest, court hears

PUBLISHED: 16:02 23 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:17 23 August 2019

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A serial fraudster pretended she was going into labour to avoid arrest, a court heard.

Sammy Weston, who uses 12 aliases, was caught by a security guard at Market Gates shopping centre, in Great Yarmouth, after her shop frauds came to light.

The court heard that Weston obtained refunds for shoplifted items, pretending they had been bought by her grandmother, who lives with dementia.

But when police attended she tried to avoid arrest by claiming she was seven months pregnant and going into labour, Norwich Crown Court heard.

John Morgans, prosecuting, said she started crying and pretended that her waters had broke, which prompted officers to call paramedics to the scene.

"She said she was in a lot of pain and said her waters had broke."

He said that doubts then began to creep in as when she was taken to hospital in an ambulance she kept giving different accounts.

He said: "Her story started to unravel."

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He said she gave false names and details and said it was clearly a ploy to delay her arrest.

"This was all a figment of her imagination, a lie to delay and hinder the ability of the police to arrest her," he said.

He said that when she finally had her fingerprints taken she was found to have a long list of previous convictions for offences including fraud, wasting police time, perverting the course of justice and making false allegations.

He said she had been in breach of a suspended sentence when she committed her latest fraud.

Weston, of no fixed address, who appeared over a video link from Peterborough jail, admitted four counts of fraud and obstructing a police officer on May 21, this year, and was jailed for eight months.

Sentencing her, Judge Anthony Bate said she had 13 convictions for 56 offences and said it was a "litany of offences of dishonesty".

However he accepted she had been diagnosed with a personality disorder in 2015 and said: "It goes a long way to explain the offending."

Danielle O'Donovan, for Weston, said that she was actually pregnant but had suffered a miscarriage and said she had mental health difficulties and had been diagnosed with a personality disorder.

"She is very vulnerable," she said.

She said that Weston was putting her time to good use while on remand and had accessed support groups.

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