A FANTASIST with ‘delusions of grandeur’ posed as a doctor, a nurse, a physiotherapist and other professionals to get work caring for elderly people in the Leamington area.
Even more dangerously, fraudster Kammi Bassi ‘prescribed’ tablets which could have caused devastating internal bleeding to her victims, one of whom took seven of them.
And even during her trial at Warwick Crown Court, Bassi tried to con the jury by appearing in the dock in a wheelchair, with a hearing aid and dark glasses, and clutching a white stick.
Unknown to the jury, when Bassi had first appeared at the court last year, she had feigned blindness – after being seen getting out of her car in which she had driven to court.
The 58-year-old, of Woodside Avenue North, Coventry, was found guilty in March of seven charges of fraud and three of supplying prescription-only medication.
And following an adjournment for reports to be prepared on her, she was jailed for a total of three years – in her absence after she had refused to leave the cells to go into the dock.
She was also given a restraining order banning her from having any contact with her victims or their families, and a criminal behaviour order prohibiting her from entering Cubbington or Lillington, acting or offering to act as a carer, except for a member of her own family, or offering to supply medication.
Sentencing her as if she was present, Judge Sarah Buckingham said: “You targeted elderly people and pretended to be a qualified doctor, a nurse, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, an osteopath and a chiropractor.
“You are not a member of any of the professions you claimed to be a member of, but not only did you pretend you were qualified to provide a caring service, in three cases you went further by providing your victims with prescription medication.
“To prescribe drugs when you are not qualified can be extremely dangerous.”
The judge pointed out the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen 500, which Bassi handed to three of her elderly victims, had a potential side-effect of gastro-intestinal bleeding to which elderly people were at an increased risk.
Fortunately only one of them actually took the tablets, which had been prescribed to Bassi, before consulting people who advised against them, and that lady did not suffer any ill-effect.
And the judge added Bassi had embarked on ‘a delusional defence’ saying she was being used, and then being set up by the police.
Bassi had not co-operated with reports prepared on her, but there was no evidence of any psychiatric symptoms to explain her bizarre behaviour, other than ‘an almost insatiable need for attention and love.’
The judge added: “Your conduct was motivated not so much by money, although you were determined to be paid, but out of a deep-seated desire to be respected for skills you simply didn’t have. But you did demonstrate a reckless disregard for their safety.”
At the resumed hearing, after Bassi had refused to discuss the case with him in the cells, her barrister Ekwal Tiwana said: “There’s no doubt she has delusions of grandeur, but she had not been complained of before she embarked on this mad enterprise.
“It is not done for money,” said Mr Tiwana, who pointed out that Bassi had actually provided a good level of care, and had made ‘a pittance’ from her frauds.