FRAUDSTER Jane Elliott, a former Banbridge florist, who was convicted last year of swindling money from her victims, has appeared back in the dock of the local Magistrates’ Court.
In February last year, 37-year-old Elliott was sentenced to 12 months supervision by a Probation Officer, after pleading guilty to six counts of fraud by false representation.
However, she breached the terms of the order by not revealing a change of address to the authorities, and appeared back in court on Thursday morning. She was fined £100.
District Judge Mr Copeland insisted that Elliott, who now lives at Bridge Street, Lisburn remain in court custody until her address was verified by police.
Her solicitor explained that since her last appearance there are no fresh charges pending and she is now working in a restaurant in Lisburn.
When sentenced last year, it was revealed that no court order was made requiring her to pay off more than £2,000 in debts.
At the time, her victims hit out at the “lenient” sentence, saying they were shocked she was not forced to repay a penny of the money.
One Banbridge businessman told the Leader, “I can’t believe she’s got away with probation. It’s not like this was a one-off incident.
Elliott’s case came to court late in 2010 after she was summonsed following her disappearance from the town in May 2009.
She had been approached by the Leader on behalf of customers who were left out of pocket and without the services they had paid for from her Bluebells florist shop in Rathfriland Street.
Another businessman who felt disgusted that no order was made to repay the money said he could not believe the case was dealt with so leniently.
“I cannot believe she basically walked away from court completely free and without having to pay for what she’s done to myself and others who trusted her,” he said.