Prison for woman who preyed on kindness of strangers in Swindon

By Jamie Hill - 7 August 2018

Crime

A woman has been convicted and sentenced to prison for eight months for a series of fraud/attempted fraud offences in Swindon.

Charlotte Branford, 36 from Groves Street, Swindon duped unsuspecting members of the public into giving her cash. Brandford approached people mainly in the Station Road, Fleming Way areas pretending to be distressed and gave various reasons for needing money:

  • She needed money to travel to her sick Mother
  • She had lost her house and/or car keys and needed to get to her Nan's in Reading to find spares
  • She had to get to her 96 year old relative's house in Reading 

Many kind members of the public stopped to help Branford, when they offered her an amount of money she frequently said it wasn't enough and pushed them for more, accompanying some to cash machines and pointing into the purse of another. She gave false details and mobile numbers to victims, promising to call them when she arrived safely at her destination in order to arrange repayment.

 

Branford was charged with eight offences of fraud and asked for another four to be taken into consideration by the court. She was convicted at Winchester Crown Court on 2 August 2018.

 

PC Paul Bezzant said: "Branford was described as 'relentless' by one victim, many were left feeling 'angry, stupid and foolish' for believing she really was in need of help.

 

"We would never describe them as such, Branford was well rehearsed and often successful in her scam, the kind nature of these people was taken advantage of and it is not the victims that should feel ashamed."

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