Faversham mum's children face life of care after judge jails her
A mother's children face going into care after she was sent to
prison for selling a fake designer watch on an auction internet
Jackie Smith’s lawyer had submitted a suspended sentence with
onerous requirements could be imposed as an act of mercy, but a
judge said he could “find no grounds whatsoever” for doing so.
Jailing the mum-of-three for 12 months, Judge Michael Carroll
said: “The message has to go out that when a person is ripping off
someone purchasing in good faith on the internet and they get
caught, they can expect to be severely punished.”
Smith, of Boundgate Cottages, Badlesmere, Faversham, denied two
charges of fraud and one of possessing an article for use in fraud,
but was convicted.
Maidstone Crown Court heard Melissa McDonald, 29, bought what
she thought was a genuine Chanel watch on eBay from Smith.
It was advertised for £2,000 but the price was negotiated to
£1,450. Smith, 35, provided a certificate of authenticity.
But the buyer afterwards went to a jeweller at Bluewater
shopping centre and discovered the watch was a fake.
Another victim, Christopher Dello, agreed to pay Smith £1,000
for a Chanel ladies watch on eBay but only received an empty
"The message has to go out that when a person is ripping off someone purchasing in good faith on the internet and they get caught, they can expect to be severely punished" – Judge Michael Carroll
defending, said something must have happened to suddenly make a
law-abiding woman start offending.
Smith, he said, had managed to borrow £1,400 from a family
friend to offer as compensation and to pay the outstanding amount
monthly from her benefits.
Her partner Sonny Hilden had left her. “He went after the
verdict, not surprisingly perhaps,” said Mr Moore. “He is paying no
Smith’s children were aged 16, four and two. “They would have to
go into care for a period if the court imposes an immediate
custodial sentence,” said Mr Moore.
“It is not for me to put this forward as a way of blackmailing
the court. Her plan was for her partner to look after the children.
The only plan now is Social Services.”
Judge Carroll said there had been a clear intention to carry on
“This was a course of conduct,” he said. “It is by no means
top-of-the-range, but I do not think it is at the bottom end
because of the determined and persistent nature.”
It was one thing to plead not guilty and say it was a terrible
mistake but there was a determination to suggest victim Miss
McDonald and her partner had somehow put their heads together.
Neither was it attractive to say someone had taken the watch out
of the box and there was an element of coercion in the second fraud
Maidstone Crown Court,
where Smith was sentenced
“We hear a lot about profits on eBay,” said the judge. “People
rely on trust because it is all arms length transactions. It is
very easy for people to be led into taking a course they would not
The judge told Smith she was convicted on overwhelming
“It is an easy offence to commit and quite a difficult one to
detect,” he continued. “I have to say your behaviour throughout
these offences, and even after they were detected, was
When police searched Smith’s home they found another fake
Judge Carroll admitted: “It is very difficult to deal with a
woman with young children when it comes to imprisonment.”
But he added the message had to go out that such offences would
be severely punished, “otherwise the whole system on the internet
will be in disarray”.
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