Darlington woman scammed victims more than £300 by selling kittens that did not exist

Credit: Gazette Media

A mum-of-three from Darlington took more than £300 from her victims and promised to sell them two kittens that didn't actually exist.

Rosie Patricia Northend, of Borough Road, was charged with two counts of fraud by misrepresentation.

Peterlee Magistrates' Court heard how the first victim, a woman from Glasgow, contacted the 28-year-old defendant after seeing the kittens for sale advert online.

She agreed to buy two kittens - giving a deposit of £120 in May - and it was agreed she would collect the kittens from an address in Darlington towards the end of June.

Michael Wallbank, prosecuting, outlined that the victim received regular updates about the kittens' progress and made the three-hour journey from Scotland.

He said: "The victim and her sister attended the address and were confronted by a male who told them he had no knowledge of the defendant or the kittens.

"The claimant reported the matter to the police on the same day."

A second victim, a man from Northumberland, had also contacted Ms Northend about the sale of the kittens - agreeing to pay a deposit of £140 for both pets.

Having initially received regular updates, the man didn't hear from the defendant for 10 days - concerned, he took to Facebook to ask if anyone had any dealings with Ms Northend previously, and the first victim responded.

Dave Dedman, mitigating for Northend, said: "This is not someone who is a serial fraudster.

"These are unsophisticated offences. She posted the advert using her correct details. It was inevitable this was going to be discovered."

Ms Northend was ordered to pay £200 in compensation to each of the victims as well as £100 in court costs.