Chemist worker jailed for exploiting vulnerable customers - Berkhamsted


A chemist shop worker, who "ruthlessly exploited" two elderly vulnerable customers, was jailed for 2 years today, Friday, 13 November 2015.

Debbie Christou, aged 52, obtained their addresses from work and went to their homes with a sob story.

Prosecutor Kevin West told St Albans Crown Court that Christou persuaded a 76-year-old woman to hand over money on several occasions. She was caught on 17 August when a cashier at the HSBC bank in Berkhamsted became suspicious when the victim tried to cash a £2,000 cheque for Christou.

Christou had also created a fake compensation order from St Albans Crown Court which she intended to show her victim to indicate she was to receive a payment in the near future.

Christou, of Old Mill Gardens, Berkhamsted, pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £6,700 from the victim between 1 February and 18 August this year.

The court was told that during that fraud she was sentenced to 18 months suspended for 18 months after targeting a vulnerable male customer of the shop.

Alex Britton, defending, said Christou had repaid £1200 of the £7900 she had borrowed. He said she had not used threats to get the money and had never sent the "compensation" letter.

Recorder Patrick Fields told her: "This was the grossest breach of trust. You worked at a local pharmacy, you identified victims and found their addresses and went to them with a sob story. You ruthlessly exploited them.  Prison is inevitable."

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