CPS calls for stronger sentence for Spalding fraudster

Maria Pridmore
Maria Pridmore

The Crown Prosecution Service have asked a judge to review his sentence of a serial fraudster from Spalding.

Former nurse Maria Pridmore was jailed for three years after she admitted a string of offences including claiming benefits for two of her dead children and stealing over £30,000 from friends and two elderly women.

Following the sentence in August, Nigel Chapman, the Hate Crimes Commissioner for the East Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, wrote to Judge Simon Hirst.

A hearing at Lincoln Crown Court on Tuesday was told Mr Chapman was concerned that the sentence had not taken in to account “hostility” from Pridmore towards vulnerable victims with dementia.

The court heard Pridmore was excused from attending the hearing because she is currently in hospital.

Judge Hirst adjourned the hearing for Mr Chapman to attend court and explain his views.

The judge said he would like Mr Chapman to explain how Pridmore had demonstrated hostility to her victims rather than just acting as an indifferent criminal.

“I just don’t see it,” Judge Hirst said. “I don’t see Miss Pridmore as somebody who is particularly hostile to somebody because they are disabled. She did it because she could.”

The court previously heard Pridmore stole £550 from a 78-year-old dementia sufferer after meeting her outside Spalding police station and obtaining her bank card and PIN.

Pridmore also stole £2,800 from an 84-year-old woman after meeting her at Boston bus station. The victim was considered so vulnerable she could not make a formal statement and Pridmore was aware she sometimes did her washing up in the oven.

Even after the woman was taken in to a care home Pridmore continued to use her details to transfer over £5,000 out of her account and even used her bank card to pay for a £60 return taxi fare to court.