Bogus solicitor receives suspended sentence

21/12/2015

A Nottinghamshire woman has been handed a suspended prison sentence for posing as a solicitor and leading her victim to believe she was acting for him in the family courts.

Susan Tindall was charged with fraud by false representation, making articles for use in frauds and forgery for an 11-month deception where she convinced her victim that she was a solicitor acting for him in the family courts. She pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court in October 2015.

The victim was introduced to Tindall through a mutual acquaintance, and, believing her claim that she was a was a specialist in family law, engaged her to act on his behalf to finalise his separation from his partner and formalise access to his two children. She led him to believe she was taking it on as private work to save him the large fees that her office would charge him. She created a stamp to look like she had received documentation from a family court and provided him with forged court orders and asked him for a one-off sum of £200 for court fees, all of which led him to believe she was working on his case.

In reality, there was no office and she was not qualified to act on his, or anyone elses behalf. No work was being done to help the victim with his circumstances. However, other legitimate matters in relation to child maintenance and access were continuing, but the victim, having received reassurances from Tindall and instructions not to contact parties acting on his ex-partners behalf, did not contribute to those proceedings.

She eventually admitted that she was not a solicitor and it was only then that the victim realised the impact of her deception. He was significantly behind on all negotiations in relation to his separation, in particular maintenance for and access to his children. This has caused the victim significant distress as he has since tried to undo the damage done by Tindalls lies. She pleaded guilty to all three offences at Nottingham Crown Court and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for one year and ordered to do 90 hours of unpaid work.

Stephen Hill, Senior Crown Prosecutor at CPS East Midlands said: "It is not clear why Susan Tindall did what she did, but her actions have had a detrimental effect on the victim in several ways. While he thought that the litigation was being properly dealt with on his behalf, nothing was in fact being done, leading  the Court, his ex-wife and children to the conclusion that he was being obstructive. Tindall's deception has had a damaging impact on his work and personal life, but above all his relationship with his children."