Thursday 22 March 2018

Imposter drains bank account of consumer watchdog Hunniford

TV presenter Gloria Hunniford
TV presenter Gloria Hunniford

Leon Watson

TV presenter Gloria Hunniford had £120k drained from her account after an imposter walked into the bank and duped the cashier

The 76-year-old 'Loose Women' panelist's bank account was emptied just days after the woman arrived at a Santander branch with her 'daughter' and 'grandson'.

Personal banker Aysha Davis (28), said the woman told her she had "a few bob" in there and had come to add the teenager as a signatory because she had been ill.

She then helped them complete the paperwork, including photocopying their driving licences, at the Croydon North End branch.

Davis was accused of being part of the plot but was acquitted after less than 30 minutes of jury deliberation after saying the TV star was "not of my time".

Police are still hunting for the "lookalike" and her "daughter", while stand-in grandson Alan Dowie (18), faces jail.

He will be sentenced alongside Reyon Dillon (also 18), who laundered some of the cash from the scam. The court heard Santander has reimbursed the money stolen from Ms Hunniford's account.

Giving evidence, Davis said she had never met Dowie before he walked into the bank and had to google TV star Ms Hunniford - who presents 'Rip Off Britain' - to find out who she was. "I had to google Gloria Hunniford and even if I passed her on the street I wouldn't recognise her because she's not from my time," she said.

The prosecutor said it was ironic Ms Hunniford presented consumer complaints programme 'Rip-off Britain'.

Davis, of Streatham, south London, denied one count of conspiracy to defraud. Dowie, of Oxted, Surrey, has already pleaded guilty to the same charge. Dillon, of Croydon, pleaded guilty to money laundering. Ms Hunniford said she had lost all trust in the ability of banks to look after her money. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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