Hove woman jailed for £100k fraud

Posted On 21 Apr 2011 at 11:59 pm

A legal executive from Hove has been jailed for two and a half years for defrauding four elderly female clients.

Jacqueline D’Hazzard, 44, of Goldstone Road, Hove, stole nearly £100,000 from their client accounts when she worked as a trust probate executive at Engleharts, the solicitors, of Hove Street, Hove.

Two of the elederly clients – one in her eighties and another in her nineties – have died since the offences came to light.

D’Hazzard was sentenced yesterday (Wednesday 20 April) by Judge Anthony Scott-Gall at Hove Crown Court.

Spacewords Brighton

She pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to four counts of fraud by abusing her position from 2004 to 2009.

The sentencing follows an investigation by the Sussex Police Major Fraud Unit.

The offences came to light when D’Hazzard resigned in June 2009 to join Crosby Moore, the solicitors, in Church Road, Hove, as head of the private client department.

Her successor checked the records she had left and, after finding irregularities, detectives were informed.

They arrested her in October that year.

In sentencing her. Judge Scott-Gall, while giving her credit for pleading guilty, said: “Through your extreme folly your life is in ruins.

“You plundered the resources of four vulnerable people and spent them on yourself.

“Only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate for your reckless and feckless behaviour.”

Detective Constable Russ Jones, of the Sussex Police Major Fraud Unit, who investigated the case, said: “This was clearly a gross breach of trust, and all the evidence is that D’Hazzard spent the money on herself, in paying debts and taking holidays.

“When the frauds were reported the firm co-operated fully with our inquiry.”

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