18-month jail term for Mildenhall woman who made false home ownership claim

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
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A woman from Mildenhall who fraudulently claimed she owned a bungalow has been jailed for 18 months.

Anne Kermode-Hutchinson, 68, of Rowan Walk, had told a solicitor that the property had been given to her by her former partner who then became her tenant.

Last month a jury at Ipswich Crown Court found Kermode-Hutchinson guilty of fraud by false representation.

On Wednesday she returned to court to be sentenced and was told by Judge John Devaux that because the offence involved an abuse of position, immediate custody was the only realistic option.

During Kermode-Hutchinson’s trial the jury heard that until 2011 she had been living with her then partner David Hutchinson at the bungalow he shared with his father in Warren Road, Red Lodge.

Previously Mr Hutchinson had named Kermode-Hutchinson and her son as executors and main beneficiaries but when their relationship ended he changed the terms to leave the bungalow to his own children, said prosecutor Charles Kellett.

Following the sudden death of Mr Hutchinson in September 2013, a letter was sent by Kermode-Hutchinson to a solicitor acting on behalf of his children in which she alleged that the bungalow had been given to her.

The court heard that the claim being made by Kermode-Hutchinson would have been worth about £79,000 had it succeeded.

Kermode-Hutchinson also claimed that Mr Hutchinson had signed an agreement to be her tenant.

Mr Kellett said the solicitor was suspicious about the claims made in the letter and alerted the police, resulting in the arrest of Kermode-Hutchinson last November.

Kermode-Hutchinson denied acting fraudulently and said she had not claimed that she was the owner of the bungalow, the jury heard.

In mitigation, Nicola Devas, appearing for Kermode-Hutchinson said the attempted fraud had not been sophisticated or well executed.