Missing Madeleine
Come join us...there's more inside you cannot see as a guest!

'Female Fagin' facing jail for sending children to beg on street

View previous topic View next topic Go down

'Female Fagin' facing jail for sending children to beg on street

Post  Guest on Tue 17 Aug - 12:04

'Female Fagin' facing jail for sending children to beg on street

8th July 2010

A mother-of-seven who became a real-life Fagin by forcing five of her children to beg on the streets faces jail for child cruelty.

Speranta Mihai, 33, would troop off with her horde of 'scruffy and dirty' children aged between three and 17 from their taxpayer-funded home each day to scrounge from strangers - only returning late at night.

Despite being repeatedly arrested and warned to stop begging nothing would stop her plying her trade around London and the home counties.

On several occasions she was stopped twice at the same place in the same day.

Police even took her to Paddington station from London's Edgware Road and put her on a train out of the capital, only to encounter her back in the city a couple of hours later.

An Anti-Social Behaviour Order in 2007 also did nothing to stop her persistent two-year begging campaign.

Once in Harrow she was found carrying a sign which said: 'I am a refugee' - when in fact she was an EU citizen - as Romania has been a member state since 2007.

Mrs Mihai first came to the attention of police three years ago when she was filmed by CCTV cameras with her brood aggressively pestering passer-bys for cash.

She became so notorious that officers from the Metropolitan Police Serious Organised Crime squad - were drafted in to deal with her - and police raided the couple's squalid home in Slough, Berkshire, on April 24 this year.

While the exact amount of money the Mihai family made is not known, as a professional beggar can earn up to £300-a-day according to official figures, their haul would have netted them tens of thousands of pounds during the two-years they admit begging.

The current tenant of the terraced home they left behind in Salt Hill Way, Slough said the place was so dirty it had to be cleaned from top to bottom and the filthy beds thrown away.

Just a handful of grimy toys were found left behind.

A neighbour said 'You would see the kids and the mother all leaving the house in the morning, but it never looked like they went to school.

'When I saw them they were wearing very traditional Romanian dresses. They always looked quite scruffy and like they and their clothes needed a good wash.

'They would often come back quite late in the evening as well.'

Mrs Mihai, first came to the UK in 1999 with her husband Gheorghe, 37, who has admitted a series of fraud charges.

Wearing a traditional shawl in the dock at Reading Crown Court, Mrs Mihai admitted 'wilfully ill-treated, neglected, abandoned or exposed said children or young persons in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health, by causing or permitting them to be engaged in begging.'

Both she and her husband admitted child cruelty by not providing them with an education. The prosecution dropped a further three charges of child trafficking.

Mrs Mihai's case has been likened to that of Fagin - the villain who controlled a gang of child thieves in Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist written in Victorian times.

The children, who are all now in social services care, are Adrian, 16, Maria 14, Samual, 13, and Diana, 11, Genesa, 7, and Iona Dobre, 14, the daughter of friends of the couple in Romania.

Another child was born to Mrs Mihai in December 2007, and she gave birth to yet another in prison after she was arrested.

John Causer, prosecuting at Reading Crown Court, told Judge Stephen John: 'There are now even more children than those listed in the charges because another baby was born to Mrs Mihai after she was arrested in this matter.'

Catherine Farrelly, defending Mr Mihai, asked the judge to seek information on what would happen to the couple's children 'if the sentence would mean they are going to spend even longer in prison.'

Judge John replied: 'Well, I can tell you they are going to.'

Mr Mihai. who was wearing a designer Emporio Armani top in the dock had admitted making a false representation to the DVLA, a fraudulent National Insurance application and a fraudulent application for child tax credit to HM Revenue and Customs.

He also admitted housing benefit and child tax credit fraud and one count of converting criminal property, in relation to illegally-obtained cash.

Judge John told the couple: 'I'm adjourning sentence on each of you.

'The reason why I'm adjourning is so that I can obtain more information about you and indeed on your many children.

'You must expect that one possibility will be one of imprisonment, possibly of a considerable length.' Sentencing was adjourned until July 30.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1292455/Female-Fagin-Speranta-Mihai-facing-jail-sending-children-beg-street.html

Something's never change in Old Blighty do they?


Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum