10:41am Tuesday 5th February 2013
By Tim MacFarlan
A FRAUDSTER who conned more than 50 people into sponsoring her £553 for fake charity walks has been jailed for six months.
Rosemary Scotter went door-to-door in Erith, Thamesmead, Welling, Bexleyheath, Belvedere and Sidup pretending to be collecting for Cancer Research and a children’s hospital during a two-month spree from November to January.
She was stopped by police in Sidcup on December 11 last year when officers noted she appeared to be carrying false sponsorship forms for Cancer Research.
She was arrested on January 4 when 72-year-old Jean Clare claimed Scotter stole £400 from an ornament on her mantelpiece as well as £10 in fake sponsorship.
Prosecutor Gregor McKinley expressed surprise Scotter was not charged with burglary.
He said: "The evidence presented by Mrs Claire is clear: there would have been enough to charge Scotter with burglary."
Judge Michael Topolski QC told the court "despicable is not too strong a word" for the 40-year-old’s crimes.
He told the defendant: "It is hard to think of a more emotive line than ‘I am collecting for children at Great Ormond Street Hospital’.
"What you did 54 times between November 1 last year and January 4 this year is particularly reprehensible."
Judge Topolski added the council street cleaner had incriminated herself by keeping the fake sponsorship forms for 53 other people which police later found when they searched her Bracondale Road, Abbey Wood home.
He sentenced the mother-of-three to six months in prison after she pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation, taking into account the other 53 offences admitted to police.
Victims of deceit
Victim Jean Clare says Scotter's deceit has left her "completely unnerved".
The 72-year-old, of Amberley Road, Abbey Wood, was taken in by the fake nurse who claimed to have cancer and to have cradled dying children in her arms at Great Ormond Street.
The great-grandmother left the room to look for an ashtray after Scotter asked to smoke only to find more than £400 had gone from its hiding place under a polar bear ornament when she returned.
She told News Shopper: "She got me completely.
"I was so convinced such a nice lady with such a sob story couldn't possibly do anything like that.
"She should go down for a lot longer than six months having done all those people. I'm really disappointed in that."
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Gary Holmes of Bexley CID said: "This was a particularly despicable action on the part of Rosemary Scotter.
"She used people's good nature against them and stole money on false pretences for her own gain.
"Apart from the vast number of victims in this case are charity organisations that may also lose out.
"Generous people will think twice about giving to charity or sponsoring someone who is genuinely giving their time to raise much needed funds".
Were you a victim or no anyone who was? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01689 885702 or tweet @NewsShopperTim
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