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Craven Arms woman made off to escape £3,000 bill

By Rob Smith | Craven Arms | Crime | Published:

A former school teacher has admitted making off from accommodation in south Shropshire avoiding thousands of pounds in bills.

Norma Hartley-Porter, 75, stayed at the Affcot Lodge off the A49 near Craven Arms between August and November 2017 and accrued a bill of £3,000 before leaving.

Then in February 2018 she made off from the White Horse in Clun without paying a £692.35 bill.

She pleaded guilty to two counts of making off without paying at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Wednesday, and will be sentenced on July 24 after a pre-sentence report is compiled.

Hartley-Porter has previously been in prison for dishonesty offences.

In 2011 she was given an eight month sentence after stealing £7,683 from 94-year-old Christine Kermode.

Hartley-Porter took the money between February 2009 and October 2010 while staying at a former hotel owned by Mrs Kermode.

She spent her ill-gotten gains on items including lingerie and sheep. She also kept several of her pets in kennels across the county and never paid the bills – which totalled more than £8,500.

In 2005, she was also convicted of stealing £4,450 from a 64-year-old man, her friend, by using his bank card and PIN.

Hartley-Porter, of Brooklands Park in Craven Arms, represented herself at Wednesday's hearing and said she would organise for a solicitor to help her by July 24. Rachel Pennington represented the crown.

Judge Jonathan Gosling said: "It's not the first time you have acted dishonestly and that may affect the case."

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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