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

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


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