Suspended sentence for fraudster who targeted victims with learning difficulties and impersonated police officer

A fraudster who impersonated a police officer and used debit cards stolen from victims with learning

A fraudster who impersonated a police officer and used debit cards stolen from victims with learning difficulties and cerebral palsy has been given a suspended sentence. - Credit: Archant

A fraudster who impersonated a police officer and used debit cards stolen from victims with learning difficulties and cerebral palsy has been given a suspended sentence.

Raeanne Houlding, of Wisden Road in Stevenage, used the stolen cards to book a hotel reservation and make purchases at shops around Hitchin.

The 27-year-old pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud, three counts of theft and one of impersonating a police officer when she appeared before Hatfield magistrates last week.

The crimes were committed between February and June this year. Two of the victims had learning difficulties, and the third had cerebral palsy.

Houlding also admitted stealing an electric toothbrush worth £70 from the Hitchin branch of Superdrug.

Chairman of the bench Yasmin Batliwala sentenced Houlding to 12 months in prison, suspended for 24 months, noting the “nature of offences, targeting vulnerable victims”.

The court ordered Houlding to undergo nine months of non-resident drug rehabilitation treatment, to pay a total of £507.79 in compensation, and to complete a rehabilitation activity requirement. Her guilty pleas were taken into account.

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No order was made for Houlding to pay court costs or surcharge under the reasoning that compensation should take precedence.

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