Saturday, 24 October 2015

'Mary Poppins' Nanny Sentenced To Seven Days For Stealing Pensioner Churchgoer's Phone

St. Mark's Church, Wimbledon
A so-called 'Mary Poppins' nanny, jailed for nine months for stealing from her employers' £4m Belgravia home, has received seven days for pinching a pensioner churchgoer's iPhone.

Emma Jane Currie, 45, who was locked-up in HMP Bronzefield, Surrey still maintains the lie her ex-employer ripped her off and owes her wages.

She was sentenced to seven days in prison when she appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates Court.

She pleaded guilty to stealing the £300 phone, belonging to 82 year-old Pamela Royle, at St. Mark's Church, St. Mark's Place, Wimbledon on February 4, this year.

In June she was jailed at the Old Bailey for withdrawing £900 cash from the bank card of her employer, 41 year-old Zoe Appleyard-Ley and trying to take another £400.

Her lawyer Mr. Michael Sprack told the court: “The reason for the severe sentence was she stole from her employers and there was animosity. She was owed money by her employer.”

Prosecutor Miss Mary Atere said Currie was arrested as a suspected burglar when squatting in a Wimbledon property on March 20.

When searched at Sutton Police Station Mrs Royal's iPhone was found on her, which the victim had last seen at the church, where Currie was a regular.

This defendant was there helping out,' explained Miss Atere. “The complainant was afraid the person who had the phone would find out where she was.

There were a lot of homeless people at the church.”

Mr. Sprack said: “My client attended the church on a regular basis and found the phone and took it. There was no hint of confrontation.

There was no attempt to use the phone.

My client was of no fixed abode and had been for some time. She was arrested for squatting.”

Explaining the nine month sentence he added: “She was working for the person who was the complainant as a nanny/housekeeper.

There was a dispute and she was owed a large amount of money from that person. The conviction is for taking money from that person.

Her employer had threatened her with bad references.”

Investment banker Mrs Appleyard-Ley - who worked for Rothschild Ventures and Durlacher Ventures - was made to regret hiring Currie via internet site 'Gumtree' to live and work at her Chester Row property.

She told the Old Bailey of her “earth-shattering pain and sense of betrayal” at the hands of Currie.

She only realised something was amiss when Currie did not bring her a cup of tea in bed and then allegedly found her jewellery, laptop and iPad were missing from her home.

The former City high-flyer found her designer handbag containing her bank cards was gone and her car was missing from the drive.

Currie was accused of using her boss's stolen credit card to rack up bills of around £1,000 at several high street stores, including Oliver Bonas, Boots, Superdrug and Monsoon.

The court heard a total of £89,000 worth of stolen property was recovered, but another £81,000, including a Cartier watch, has never been found.

Mrs Appleyard-Ley is separated from her husband Sven Ley - a self-employed art dealer whose family founded fashion label Escada.

She hired Currie in May, 2013 to assist looking after her two children, aged four and six and assist the running of Life Neurological Research Trust, a charity launched in memory of her aunt Baroness Ziki Wharton, who died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Currie was still driving around in the Mercedes ML350 - bought by the family nine days earlier - when police pulled her over near Gatwick.

After her arrest, Currie told police she took the car as her employer owed her £1,600 in wages, adding that she had worked for three weeks without a day off.

She told the court the figure included 'overtime, working seven day weeks without a break for three weeks and also holiday pay'.

She went on to claim she had consent to drive the Mercedes to the south coast to look for a mobile home to live in after handing in her notice to Mrs Appleyard-Ley on the agreement she would return.

She described the allegation she had stolen jewellery as “preposterous”, adding: “My personal feeling is that this is in the guise of getting a nice insurance claim for the person involved, the employer.”

She claimed: “This whole thing is a bit of a hoax with the jewellery because I've never seen expensive jewellery.”

Giving evidence, Currie also explained she had clothes from the Appleyard-Ley home in the Mercedes because she had been asked to take them to be dry cleaned.

She said that she had bought goods using her employer's credit card in shops such as Oliver Bonas because she had been asked to buy presents for her children's teachers and friends.

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