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INVESTIGATE: AVOIDING HARD CELL.

Byline: Penman & Sommerlad

SERIAL fraudster Marie Atkins has narrowly escaped jail - but if she puts a foot wrong again she won't be so lucky.

Atkins, 69, of Carshalton, Surrey, flogs over-priced massage equipment to her elderly victims, claiming it can cure aches and pains. But what she sells as "new" for around pounds 400 is just repackaged second-hand rubbish that doesn't work.

Since we first exposed her scam in 1999, Atkins has got four sets of convictions and a nine-month jail sentence. Now she's been snared yet again for trying to sell her substandard goods to an undercover officer from Surrey Trading Standards.

A jury at Guildford Crown Court found her guilty of five counts of obtaining property by deception and three trade description offences. She was given a 51-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Judge Neil Steward told her: "If you come back to court ever again, no amount of pity will save you from prison.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 2, 2006
Words:158
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