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Nanny 'tried to poison Ann Summers boss three times'

A nanny appeared in court today charged with attempting to poison Jacqueline Gold, the Ann Summers boss, by contaminating her food with screen wash, sugar and salt.

Allison Cox, 33, has been charged with three counts of poisoning with intent to injure, aggrieve or annoy.

She spoke only to confirm her name, age and address at South East Surrey Magistrates' Court in Redhill, before the case was referred to the Crown Court. She has not yet entered a plea.

Miss Gold, who is reputed to be worth £180m (€210m), hired Cox to look after her daughter Scarlett at her £6.5m mansion in Whyteleafe, Surrey, last year.

The allegations came to light after Miss Gold, 50, became concerned about the taste of food prepared by her chef.

Tests on a soup allegedly showed the presence of screen wash and Cox, from East Grinstead, Surrey, was arrested.

She is also accused of trying to poison her boss with sugar and salt, according to the charges.

On the first occasion, on September 29, she was accused of using salt to poison her boss at an address in Westerham, Kent.

On October 4 at the same location, the substance involved was said to be sugar.

The following day, in Surrey, she is accused of "unlawfully and maliciously" administering "a poison or other destructive or noxious thing, namely motor vehicle screen wash".

Prosecutor Hema Moore told the court: "These are indictable only matters and are to be dealt with at Guildford Crown Court.

"Ms Cox appears on unconditional bail, she has attended today and the Crown has no objection to that continuing."

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A preliminary hearing was scheduled for January 20.

Miss Gold, whose husband Daniel Cunningham is a City trader, is one of the UK's best known female entrepreneurs and Britain's 16th-richest woman.

She is responsible for turning the male-dominated business started by her father, businessman David Gold, into a female-friendly sex shop chain with a presence on every high street and more than £115m (€135.5m) annual gross turnover

She is also chief executive of the Knickerbox chain.

She gave birth to twins Alfie and Scarlett in May last year following three failed IVF attempts but her son, who had a severe brain condition, tragically died at eight months.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

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