Travel assistant guilty of scam

IPSWICH travel agent Alice Conington faces an uncertain future today after being caught scamming customers' credit cards in a police sting.The 20-year-old, who worked at Thomas Cook in Tavern Street, went on an internet shopping spree after copying clients' card numbers.

IPSWICH travel agent Alice Conington faces an uncertain future today after being caught scamming customers' credit cards in a police sting.

The 20-year-old, who worked at Thomas Cook in Tavern Street, went on an internet shopping spree after copying clients' card numbers.

She was arrested by police officers posing as delivery men taking goods to the home she shared with her boyfriend in Turin Street, Ipswich.

The undercover operation was carried out after staff at two superstores became suspicious and reported their concerns to police.


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Conington had denied conspiring with her boyfriend, Shane Andrews, David Parry and others unknown, to dishonestly obtain property by deception.

However, after a two-day trial at Ipswich Crown Court, a jury found her guilty of the charge.

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Following her conviction, Conington's case was adjourned until next month.

She was released on unconditional bail and will now have to return to the crown court for sentencing on week commencing February 7.

During Conington's trial, the court heard hundreds of pounds were spent on six credit cards. Details of a further four unused cards were discovered at the home in Turin Street where Conington lived with Andrews and Parry.

Peter Fenn, prosecuting, said a customer had gone into Thomas Cook travel agents in Tavern Street to book a holiday on January 24 last year.

She gave Conington the details of her ex-husband's three credit cards to pay for the holiday.

The following day the card details were used to buy £145 concert tickets off the internet. The day after the details were used again to have £181.75 of shopping delivered from Tesco to Turin Street.

Mr Fenn said that in May, the card details were used in the same way over the internet to order shopping from Tesco valued at around £350 and Sainsbury's valued at £185.90 and to pay for film processing costing £53.49.

Mr Fenn said three other card details in the names of Hatcher and White were also used dishonestly between January 24 and May 25.

He said staff at Tesco and Sainsbury's became suspicious and contacted the police.

Mr Fenn added: "Police officers disguised as Sainsbury's home delivery men attended Turin Street to make a delivery. Various people were arrested and a search of the premises was carried out."

Andrews and Parry have already pleaded guilty to the same offence as Conington was convicted of, the jury was told.

At the end of the trial, a spokeswoman for Thomas Cook said: "Thomas Cook takes cases like this extremely seriously. As soon as Thomas Cook, Ipswich, was made aware of the allegations, the employee responsible was suspended and did not return to the branch."

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