Thursday, 31 December 2009

Street Robbery Becomes Murder Hunt

Police have launched a murder probe after a bank customer, who was viciously attacked from behind by two street muggers, died in hospital a month after receiving injuries during the robbery.

Mahesh Mehta, 55, had just visited the HSBC Bank on the corner of London Road and Warwick Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey, when the mystery assailants pounced on him.

He was rushed to nearby Mayday Hospital with severe facial injuries and later transferred to St. George’s Hospital, Tooting, where he sadly passed away.

The Homicide and Serious Crime Command have launched a murder investigation and are asking anyone who was in the Warwick Road area, particularly in the proximity of the HSBC, at the time of the incident to contact police.

Detective Inspector Dave Willis, said: "It has been almost two months since this violent attack and it is crucial for the victim's family that members of the public come forward if they witnessed this incident or if they can help in anyway.

"The attack on Mr. Mehta (pictured) was particularly callous and the level of violence was both senseless and uncontrolled.

“Members of the community came to Mr. Mehta's aid at the time and I now ask for them to come forward again.

“I am eager to speak with a woman who acted as a Good Samaritan towards to Mr. Mehta. I would be pleased to speak to anyone in confidence at anytime."

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

DNA Traps Sex Attacker Seventeen Years On

It took seventeen years for justice to catch up with an evil sex predator – eventually caged for brutally attacking a 76 year-old woman – thanks to telltale DNA evidence.

Frederick Mills, 37, was sentenced to thirteen years imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court for breaking into the vulnerable victim’s Tottenham home in 1993 and carrying out a violent sexual assault.

Mills (pictured) pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault and one of burglary, after the case was reopened by the Metropolitan Police’s Sapphire Cold Case team in 2007.

The victim, now deceased, who was partially blind and deaf and couldn’t speak English, was lying in bed when Mills broke into the property on January 22.

He forced her to the floor and punched her repeatedly as he carried out the sex attack.

Ironically he was nearly captured immediately and was forced to flee via the back door when the victim’s family arrived.

However, they were unable to enter because experienced burglar Mills had locked the front door from the inside and escaped through the back garden and into a nearby park.

Officers conducted an extensive investigation, taking forensic samples and circulating a photo fit as part of a wide-ranging publicity campaign.

Several suspects were identified and arrested, however no charges were brought and the file was eventually closed.

In 2007 an upgraded DNA profile was obtained from a sample found on the victim's nightgown.

When this was entered into the national DNA database, Mills was identified for the first time and on September 24, 2007, he was arrested while serving time in Wandsworth Prison.

DC Alyson Suddick, who led the cold case investigation, said: "While it is unfortunate that the vulnerable victim of this terrible assault did not live to see her attacker face justice, we hope this will bring to an end a traumatic affair for her family.

"Thanks to the advancements in technology seen since 1993, we were able to track down this dangerous individual with the help of the Forensic Science Service, and we will continue to strive to identify and arrest the perpetrators of such savage crimes."

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Romanian Sex Traffickers Jailed

Three Romanians who tricked a 24 year-old girl into prostitution – grabbing all the cash she made servicing a string of punters with sex – have been locked-up after the victim’s boyfriend trapped the gang.

The Romanian victim was promised a lucrative hostess career in London, but on her arrival was forced into prostitution with the threat her boyfriend would meet a violent end if she did not cooperate.

Ringleader Constantin Tarau, 27, (pic. l.) was jailed for six years; Catalin Baluta, 33, (pic. mid.) received three-and-a-half years and Mihaela Padurau, 21, (pic. r.) eighteen months.

All lived in Prout Grove, Willesden, where on December 16, 2007, victim ‘Sofie’ arrived after being persuaded to leave her homeland alone and was told her only future was having sex with strangers for cash.

The Croydon Crown Court trial heard Tarau befriended ‘Sofie’ and her partner in Romania and she was met at Luton Airport by Baluta who warned her ‘something bad would happen’ to her boyfriend if she didn’t cooperate.

Between December 17 and 28, Sofie was forced to work as a prostitute in various brothels in London and was one of several girls being "controlled" by the gang.

The money she made was initially split halfway between her and her controllers, however after a short time they seized all of her money.

Baluta and Padurau would contact and make all the arrangements with various brothels and would order taxis to take her there.

Her boyfriend formed a plan to rescue her, keeping Tarau on side by claiming to bring another Romanian girl to London to work as a prostitute.

On his arrival at Luton Airport he contacted Bedfordshire Police and officers arrested Tarau who had come to the airport to collect him and the 'female' he was meant to be traveling with.

The case was referred to the Metropolitan Police's Human Trafficking Team who mounted an investigation.

Detective Constable Kieron Tiddy paid tribute to the bravery of Sofie's boyfriend, saying: "The courage he displayed in his bid to rescue his girlfriend was exceptional.

“He demonstrated great initiative hatching and executing his brave plan, helping police to rescue Sofie and convict this trafficking gang.

"Thanks must also go to the Romanian Police who managed to secure the speedy extradition of Tarau from Romania."

Head of the Human Trafficking Team Detective Inspector Steve Wilkinson said: "Through intimidation this gang forced a vulnerable young woman to do things against her will and failed to honour any of her basic human rights.

“They sought to profit from the exploitation of another human being in the most horrible way."

All three were convicted of conspiring to cause or incite prostitution for gain and conspiring to control prostitution.

Tarau alone was convicted of conspiring to traffic a person into the U.K. for sexual exploitation.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Police Search Dog Sniffs Out Guns

‘Taxi’ the police sniffer dog sent a woman underworld armourer on as one-way journey to a prison cell after leading cops to illegal guns and ammo stashed in her ‘safe house’.

Young mum Marlena Ocran, 23, of Primrose Place, Isleworth, Middlesex, was locked-up for five years after ‘Taxi’ sniffed-out the firearms “ a robber’s kit” hidden underneath a wardrobe.

The Metropolitan Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Command raided the property on June 30 and the dog (pic. l.) led them to two semi-automatic pistols, a sawn-off shotgun with seventy-two cartridges and eight bullets.

The flat was deserted and almost empty of furniture or personal belongings, indicating Ocran was not living there, but staying with relatives in Brabazon Road, Heston, Middlesex.

When arrested she admitted being the Primrose Place tenant, but claimed to know nothing about the firearms, a Russian-made self-loading Baikal, Browning and small-bore shotgun (pictured).

Less than five days later she dialled 999 confessing she had lied to police during her interview and wished to tell the truth.

During her second interview, Ocran admitted she had known about the existence of firearms and ammunition in her flat but had made no efforts to contact police.

She claimed throughout the interview that two other people had access to the flat and she had provided them with keys and they could have placed the firearms there.

Forensic analysis of the firearms revealed Ocran's fingerprints on the shotgun cartridge box and the Baikal had been converted to fire .38 rounds together with the silencer.

Ocran pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm, ammunition and shortened shotgun at Kingston Crown Court.

Detective Inspector Steve Ellen said: "Ignorance is no excuse for storing firearms and ammunition.

“The MPS is committed to tackling anyone believed to be in possession of a gun and this carries a minimum term of five years in prison."

On sentencing, Judge Binning said that "it was clear she had a robber's kit."

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Illegal Cabbie's Sex Attack On Female Passenger

An illegal mini-cab driver – who launched a late-night sex attack on a terrified lone female passenger who jumped into his car – has been locked up for four years.

Mitcham man Alfred Apicella, 54, walked free for seven months after fondling the 24 year-old victim until police eventually tracked him down.

He was convicted at Kingston Crown Court on two counts of sexual assault, plus one of digital penetration, after picking-up the woman in Tooting Broadway, South-West London, on November 2, last year.

Unlicensed Apicella (pictured), who worked as a courier and ice cream vendor during the day spent his evenings illegally touting for customers as he drove around his local area.

The victim, who had been drinking with friends in Wimbledon, agreed to pay Apicella for a lift home to her Wandsworth Common address at 3.40am and was persuaded to sit in the front.

He agreed she could pop indoors to get cash, but on arrival announced he would waive the fare in exchange for a kiss and cuddle.

He then sexually assaulted her, forcing a finger into her vagina, before she managed to elbow him aside and escape from the vehicle.

The victim made it safely into her home before contacting her partner and subsequently the police.

Seven months later, on May 27, police arrested Apicella at his home address and charged him with sexual assault later that day.

DCI Mark Cranwell from Wandsworth Borough said: "We cannot stress strongly enough, how important it is to ensure that you get home safely and are not drawn into using unlicensed cabs.

"This victim had a terrible ordeal after a night out with her friends and I would like to thank her for her bravery in coming forwards and helping police bring Apicella to justice.”

Friday, 25 December 2009

Happy Christmas To All Our Readers

Let me take this seasonal opportunity to express my thanks to our loyal readers who have visited Square Mile News during the past year.

Today is not an appropriate time to publish yet more news of violence and dishonesty etc., but to remind everybody to give thanks for making it through another twelve months, to remember those who unfortunately have not, and to appreciate the friends and family we have around us.

I hope you enjoy the photo of two fine City of London constables patrolling the Square Mile during the recent cold snap and yes they will be out there again today keeping the streets safe when we are opening gifts and tucking into turkey.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and may you all enjoy a wonderful and prosperous New Year.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Would-Be Shotgun Killer Faces Prison

This is the face of a gunman who pumped 50 shotgun pellets into his victim’s torso and is now facing a lengthy prison sentence when he returns to the Old Bailey.

Jobless Babar Ali Shah, 35, of Upton Heights, Upton Lane, Forest Gate, East London, also blew off the victim’s thumb when an argument broke out in a vehicle they were traveling in.

Shah was convicted of attempting to murder the 29 year-old driver, assaulting a passenger, 31, whose two front teeth he knocked out with the gun and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

All three men were traveling in a Cherokee Jeep in Old Ruislip Road, Northolt, on July 25, last year when an altercation broke out just after 10pm and Shah shot the driver and attacked his passenger.

Detective Sergeant Chris Jones, of Operation Trident, said: "Shah is a dangerous individual who was happy to use a gun at close range.

“I am pleased the court has found him guilty and I am sure it will be of a reassurance to his victims to know that he has been held to account for his actions."

He is due to be sentenced on January 27, next year.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

'Suicidal' Heroin Smuggling Run Smashed

A gang of four heroin traffickers are either starting or facing huge prison sentences after a Channel Tunnel ‘suicide run’ when £30m worth of the drug stuffed into the back of a BMW was simply driven past Customs men.

The 356 kilos of heroin – packed into 13 cardboard boxes – was placed in the rear and piled on the back seats of the car, belonging to the smuggler’s elderly mother, and is believed to be the largest ever UK police seizure of its kind.

Unfortunately for the gang they were being monitored by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Central Task force and were arrested during a handover at a motorway service station.

They are: (l. to r.) Dutchman Patrick Kuster, 37, sentenced to 26 years; Harminder Chana, 32, of Upton Lane, East Ham; Atif Khan, 35, of Brixham Gardens, Ilford, Essex and businessman Abdul Matalib Shammin Rob, 30, of Cavendish Gardens, Ilford.

All either pleaded guilty or were convicted at Kingston Crown Court of conspiracy to supply heroin as a result of the Met’s Operation Frant.

Kuster was the courier who drove the uncut heroin from Holland – gambling he would not be stopped at checkpoints – even parking the car (pic. far r.) unattended outside a Calais B&B overnight.

On April 3, last year, Kuster met Chana off the M20 in Kent and police watched as three of the boxes – containing 50 kilos of heroin - were loaded into his Seat Leon.

Officers swooped and Kuster said: “My life is over,” when cautioned, with Chana claiming: “"Look officer I'm going to be honest with you, I've never done anything like this before but I'm trying to get back into work and I was getting paid to do it."

Later that day, detectives arrested Khan outside his home and he was found in possession of a set of keys for a 'safe house' in York Close, Beckton.

A search of this address uncovered a blue Ikea bag containing 20 kilos of cocaine bulking agent Mannitol.

A set of electronic scales, a metal press, a counterfeit money discriminator, numerous mobile phones, latex gloves and written correspondence were also found at the address.

He confessed he was expecting to receive the 50 kilos of heroin collected by Chana.

Rob was arrested at his home on November 11. He was responsible for arranging and financing three boxes of the imported heroin.

In April 2000, a Belgian court convicted Rob in his absence of a multi-million pound drugs supply and sentenced him to six years imprisonment.

On October 3, 2007, at Utrecht District Court, Holland, Kuster was acquitted of transporting heroin from Holland to the UK.

Detective Inspector Marion Ryan said; "This is the biggest heroin seizure we know of, by any UK police force.

“Today's result is testimony to how the Met has prevented the serious consequences this conspiracy could have had on people's lives.

“An average addict consumes 0.438 kilos of heroin in 12 months, so this seizure would be enough to keep more than 8,000 addicts in habit for a year.

"This gang had a flagrant disregard for law, blatantly transporting these dangerous drugs in the back of their cars.

“The Met will not tolerate the use and supply of class A drugs and we continue to tackle any organised criminal networks involved in this highly illegal activity."

The three UK-based gang members are due to be sentenced on 8 January.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

DJ Nosweat Loses His Cool

A panic-stricken DJ, freaked-out by having to wait an hour for a train at busy Liverpool Street Station, lit up a joint to calm his nerves in front of watching police.

Rory Drew Anderson, 26, of Henham Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, had just completed a recording session in Central London and was on his way home.

Anderson – known as DJ-nosweat – pleaded guilty at City of London Magistrates’ Court today to possessing a small amount of herbal cannabis on December 15.

“He was stressed-out after being left alone at Liverpool Street Station for an hour,” his lawyer Mr. Deepesh Pandit told the court. “He suffers panic attacks and smoked a little to calm his nerves.”

Prosecutor Mrs. Alexa Morgan said: “The defendant was seen by officers smoking a joint in public view and he was approached.

“He admitted smoking cannabis and admitted he had more in a grinder and tin for his own use.”

Mr. Pandit added: “He very rarely comes to London. He is a DJ and had travelled to work at a music studio.

“He was picked up at the station by a friend and they worked on some music and he was taken back to Liverpool Street and hour before the train was due to go back.”

The magistrates fined Anderson £66, with £90 costs and ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the cannabis, grinder and tin.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Bloodbath At Gay Couple's Suburban Home

A vicious knifeman who attacked a gay couple in their home – plunging a blade into one victim’s heart as he lay defenceless on the floor and stabbing his partner repeatedly – has been caged for life.

David Kilcullen, 46, of The Avenue, Bromley, Kent, left a horrific bloodbath and one man dead, with his partner fighting for his life, following the frenzied attack.

He was ordered to serve a minimum of thirty-two years before he can be considered for parole after an Old Bailey jury convicted him of murdering Gerry Edwards, 59, (pic. centre) and attempting to murder 57 year-old Chris Bevan (pic l.).

The horror began during a torrential rainstorm on March 3, when Kilcullen (pic.r.) knocked on the couple’s front door in Page Heath Villas, Bromley, a quiet suburban home they had shared for eighteen years.

Gerry recognized the defendant as a local man he had chatted with in the past and allowed his killer into the house – unaware he was armed with a large kitchen knife.

Hospital care worker Chris was sleeping upstairs and woke to a "terrible shriek" coming from the kitchen.

He came down the stairs and was confronted by Kilcullen standing in the doorway. "He had a knife and was saying, lie down or I'll kill you," Chris later told detectives.

Kilcullen began stabbing them despite obeying his orders to lie on the kitchen floor with Gerry dying almost instantly from a massive wound to the heart.

Chris staggered to his feet in an effort to distract Kilcullen from continuing the onslaught on Gerry and as he did, he received several stab wounds to his back.

Chris got as far as the sitting room next door where he collapsed into an armchair and by now the knife Kilcullen had used now had a shattered handle and the blade was bent.

Pathology evidence showed it had been used with such force it penetrated the thickness of Gerry's breastbone.

Kilcullen followed him into the sitting room and having discarded the knife began hitting him with bottles kept on a shelf near the armchair.

When the bottles broke he used the broken ends as stabbing weapons causing cutting and slashing injuries to Chris's face and head.

He had a number of deep lacerations to his scalp, forehead and left side of his face.

His lip was ripped and the top of his left ear was severed.

Despite this onslaught, Chris managed to make his way in the torrential rain to his neighbour's door and police and ambulance services, including the helicopter emergency service, arrived a few minutes later.

Chris had lost huge amounts of blood and went into cardiac arrest.

Paramedics carried out emergency life heart massage on Chris in the ambulance and technically, he died for several minutes.

He was taken to Kings College Hospital suffering from wounds to his torso, left arm and right hand.

The stab wounds into his back had punctured both lungs.

The post mortem examination revealed that the fatal wound to Gerry was a deep stab wound delivered with such force that it went straight through his breastbone which struck the pericardial sac that contains the heart and punctured his aorta.

Kilcullen inflicted two further stab wounds to the Gerry Edwards' chest plus a further stab wound that went straight through his left arm, partially penetrating his chest in the vicinity of his left armpit.

The killer spent the rest of the night boozing with a drinking buddy, confessing to his pal he went to the house to take the couple’s car.

Kilcullen called the police on March 4 claiming to be the murderer.

DCI Chris Lyons said: "He gave a twisted account of what had occurred. He sounded very intoxicated and unfortunately, it is not unknown for people to call police in this way to confess to major incidents.

"The telephone operator informed the murder team and we immediately went to Kilcullen's bedsit where a knife was found with the same handle and design as the murder weapon left at the scene, in the kitchen sink of Kilcullen's home.

"Further investigation established the link between the knives and although Kilcullen initially denied it, at his trial he admitted it was his and that he had taken it to the scene with socks on his hands to avoid leaving forensic evidence.

"He left one sock at the scene when it fell from his hand in the frenzied attack and as well as DNA profile from the sock, we recovered CCTV images of him with his friend in Petts Wood, a little over two miles away where he disposed of his bloodstained clothing in a large refuse container.

"In court, Kilcullen made an incredible claim that he was acting in self defence as both men were sexually assaulting him. He never said that to police in interview.

"Chris Bevan told us that he met Kilcullen once when he came to the flat and made homophobic comments about his relationship with Gerry.

“He has no idea why Kilcullen carried out this premeditated and frenzied attack on them - a quiet couple who had never harmed him in any way.

"If Chris had not escaped from the flat to raise the alarm, or if the medics had not brought him back to life on the way to the hospital, it is likely we would be looking at a double murder case.

“Kilcullen did not intend either man to survive and identify him as their attacker. He has never displayed any remorse for what he did.

"By cheating death in this way and by overcoming his physical problems to give evidence at court, Chris Bevan has seen Kilcullen brought to justice.

“Sadly the injuries caused to Chris that day are life changing and will serve along with the other mental scars to remind him forever of Kilcullen's monstrous actions."

Gerald’s sister Brenda Hayes said: "My dear brother Gerald was a kind, caring and generous man with a wonderful sense of humour.

"He was a free spirit who had a zest for life and loved to travel in his motorhome, especially to Wales and Scotland.

“He also made several trips to Canada, a country and people he fell in love with.

"Our whole family, including his niece and nephews, of which there are nine, his sisters, brother in law and all his friends and neighbours who knew, loved and respected Gerald, miss him greatly and feel heartbroken that his life was taken far too soon and in such a tragic and violent way.

"He surely did not deserve to die in that way and we will forever wonder why."

Judge Brian Barker told Kilcullen: "You showed no mercy to your victims, and your actions defy belief. You were aggressive, violent and overpowering with a high level of dangerousness.

"The victims were no match for you It was an arrogant and unfeeling attack. You have shown little regret or concern for what you did."

Sunday, 20 December 2009

'Smash And Grab' Rookies Captured

A young gang of wannabe ‘smash and grab’ raiders – armed with an axe and sledgehammer - fled a jewellery store empty handed and are now beginning lengthy custodial sentences.

They roared up on three motorbikes to V Jeweller’s, Heddon Court Parade, Cockfosters Road, Barnet, on June 18 and smashed the store’s door and windows in determined bid to grab valuables.

Quick-thinking staff activated security measures – filling the shop with smoke – and the gang left with nothing and were arrested by police at their base, a lock-up garage.

All six pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to conspiracy to commit robbery between May 1 and June 19

The gang (pictured from l. to r.) are: Nathan Hines, 22, of Berkeley Gardens, Enfield, (4yrs. 8m.) Charlie Kavanagh, 19, of Inworth Walk, Islington, (3yrs. 10m.) Brett Bradley, 20, (3yrs. 4m.).

Jamies Rainsford, 20, of Belgon Close, Islington, (3yrs. 9m.) Alex Moriarty, 23, of Upper Caldy, Islington, (3yrs. 8m.) and Ryan Griffin, 20, of Hartland Close, Winchmore Hill, (3 yrs. 4m.).

Three of the gang – all wearing dark clothing and crash helmets - acted as getaway riders and the other three jumped off the motorbikes and began smashing their way into the shop until enveloped by smoke.

One member of staff was taken to hospital and treated for minor shock and later discharged.

The gang returned to an area of wasteland in front of garages in Ladbroke Road, Enfield, and were arrested.

Police seized several items of stolen property, including a sledgehammer, four motorbikes, and motorbike paraphernalia. A vehicle was also seized.

Detective Sergeant Richard Baker of Westminster Crime Squad, said: “The sentencing today forms part of the ongoing response by Westminster Crime Squad to 'smash and grab' type offences.

“I hope that this result sends a message to those contemplating committing such offences that the police, the CPS and our partners in the business community will continue to pursue and prosecute those individuals in a robust manner.”

Detective Inspector Frank McGowan, of Westminster Police, said: 'For the past year the Westminster Crime Squad with support of key partners have concentrated their efforts towards identifying and arresting those individuals who work within organised criminal networks in committing offences of smash and grab within the retail community.

Offences of this type have cost the business community millions of pounds over the past few years in and around London and resulting in a significant increase in offences.

“We have steadily identified and arrested those responsible and as well as being a clear deterrent to others who commit these type of offences, London has now seen a considerable decrease in the number of offences.”

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Bank Robber Hunted By Sweeney

This is the bank robber being hunted by specialist Flying Squad detectives for hitting seven high street branches in an 11-week blagging blitz – telling staff he is armed – and fleeing with cash.

The North East branch of the squad have revealed that on each occasion the male suspect enters the bank, approaches the front counter and tells staff he is in possession of a firearm, before demanding money.

Staff members hand an amount of money over to him and he leaves the premises. No weapon has ever been seen.

He often wears dark sunglasses and a fisherman-style hat.

Banks robbed are: Barclays, High Street, Wanstead, East London, on September 16; Barclays, Loughton, Essex, on October 13; HSBC, Waltham Abbey, Essex, on October 22; Barclays, Lancaster Road, Enfield, on November 2; Barclays, Hertford Road, Enfield, on November 10; Barclays, Lordship Lane, Wood Green, on November 20 and Barclays Islington Green, Islington, on December 4.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Probation Officer's Career In Ruins After Illegally Pocketing Benefits

A trainee probation officer – studying for a criminal justice degree – continued illegally claiming £3,957 housing benefit despite landing the £17,000 a year job dealing with offenders.

Mother-of-three Adenike Adegbamiye, 41, of Pearce Court, Harmony Place, Southwark, lost her job and now claims £1,000 a month family tax credit plus child benefit coupled with her husband’s modest income.

After the family moved from Italy in 2005 – where they were also claiming benefits – they were given temporary council accommodation and awarded housing benefit.

However, after landing the job three years later she failed to tell the council, also omitting to mention receiving thousands of pounds in student loans and grants for another degree course.

She pleaded guilty today at City of London Magistrates’ Court (pictured) that between October 6, 2008 and January 18, this year, in relation to a housing benefit application, failed to notify the London Borough of Southwark she commenced salaried employment on October 6 with the National Probation Service.

Southwark Council withdrew charges that between October 1, 2007 and January 18, 2009, in relation to a housing benefit application she failed to notify a change of circumstances, namely receipt of a £5,585 student loan and £3,162.75 defendant’s grants for year one of a London Southwark University undergraduate course.

They also withdrew a charge that between January 12 and 18, this year, in relation to housing benefit, she failed to notify the opening of a Barclays Tax Haven ISA account on January 12, with £1,300.

Adegbamiye, who like her husband – an Italian passport holder - is of West African origin, even sat as a panel member on her local Community Youth Offending Team and will now be forced to resign.

“She is ashamed and embarrassed to appear in court as somebody hoping for a career in the probation service,” her lawyer Mr. Andrew Hope told the court.

Adegbamiye lost her job with the Probation Service on December 9, this year, after failing part of her Criminal Justice degree, which she was studying at the University of Hertfordshire.

Mr. Joel Smith, representing Southwark Council, said the couple both signed the original application and passed reviews in September, 2006 and July, 2007.

She was obliged to notify the council of any change in her finances. “She started employment with the Probation Service on October 6, 2008 and did not declare that change of circumstances.

The council ordered Adegbamiye to attend an interview on February 19, this year over concerns of “non declaration” and she arrived with a change of circumstances form already completed after taking legal advice.

“All the monies owing have been paid back in full,” explained Mr. Hope, claiming his client thought she had to wait until the end of the financial year to declare earnings to the council.

The magistrates fined Adegbamiye £270, with £2,515 costs, after Mr. Hope successfully persuaded them to slash their original £3,415 costs award to Southwark Council.

“Forgive me for saying this, but it’s a crippling order for costs. It will sentence the family to a financial burden for years to come,” he submitted.

“It puts them in a situation that is often a catalyst for these sorts of offences in the first place,” said Mr. Hope.

Adegbamiye was ordered to pay £50 immediately and the balance at £100 per month. It will take over 27 months to pay.