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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70507
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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My friend was arrested by false representation. She

Customer Question

Hi, my friend was arrested for fraud by false representation. She pretended she was a landlord of a property she lived in and took deposit and rent totalling 1900 and did not rent the property. She has been convicted of fraud before but it was 5 years ago and was given a custodial sentence of 11 months. She has a 2 year old son and she did it because she had lost her job and was struggling to pay rent. What is likely to be the outcome of this case? Will she get a custodial sentence and how long would it be for?
They haven't questioned her yet, is it wise for her to no comment the questions? The police have the tenancy agreement which would have her finger prints and she put a false name on the agreement.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

On these facts she should be offering a no comment interview. She doesn't have a defence and they aren't going to caution.

She would normally get a community order for this type of offence but she does have relevant previous convictions and she can't hide from that. The only advantage is that it is a fairly old offence. She might be lucky and get a suspended sentence. For some reason Judges do seem to dislike the property deposit fraud disproportionately I think because the victim is generally entirely innocent, which is rare in crime, and also not a rich person.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If she no commented all the questions, she won't be able to give her reasons for doing what she did... Is it a wise choice for her to no comment?If she was looking at a custodial sentence, how long would she get given she has a 2 year old?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

She doesn't have a defence and they aren't going to caution. there is no point in admitting the offence at the police station.

The two year old is a red herring I'm afraid. Women don't get lesser sentences because they have child care responsibilities. The sentence are the subject of the aggravating and mitigating features of the offence and the previous of the defendant. Given that she got 11 months before, she could get several months. It is a low amount but it is aggravated by the premeditation and the vulnerability of the victim .

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They have already caution her and she has been arrested and bailed due to her not having anyone to take care of the child. She is due to appear at the police station next week for questioning which I do believe is under caution. Would you still advice no comment?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Yes, for the reasons above. There is nothing to be gained by commenting. .