Fraudster cheated elderly by claiming to have medical and therapist qualifications - The Leamington Observer

Fraudster cheated elderly by claiming to have medical and therapist qualifications

Leamington Editorial 1st Apr, 2019   0

A FRAUDSTER who cheated elderly people in the Leamington area by claiming to have medical or therapist qualifications did not succeed in conning a jury.

Kammi Bassi sat in the dock during her trial at Warwick Crown Court in a wheelchair, wearing dark glasses and a hearing aid, and clutching a white stick.

But right at the start the jury was told by Judge Sarah Buckingham: “She complains she has a serious sight and hearing impediment and needs to use a wheelchair.

“But the court has seen her medical records, and I am satisfied that at the moment she has not been diagnosed with any condition which would cause sight or hearing impediment.”

Unknown to the jury, when Bassi had first appeared at the court last year, she 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, had denied seven charges of fraud and three of supplying prescription-only medication, all committed in 2016.

But she was found guilty of all ten charges and was remanded in custody for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on her.

Prosecutor Laura Culley said: “This defendant targeted elderly people and pretended to be a qualified medical doctor, a nurse, an occupational therapist, an osteopath and a chiropractor to try to get them to engage her services to care for them.

“She is not, nor has ever been, any of those professions. The only connection with anything she purported to be is that she enrolled a course in occupational therapy at Coventry University.

“But she dropped out after the first year, and left with no qualifications whatsoever.”

In addition she also supplied elderly people with the prescription-only anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen 500, which Miss Culley observed was ‘a dangerous thing to do.’ They were ones her own GP had prescribed to her.

In 2016 Bassi made an unsolicited call to one of the daughters of an elderly Lillington woman, who has since died, claiming she ran a company of qualified physiotherapists and offering to provide care for her mother.

They met, and Bassi, describing herself as a qualified doctor and physiotherapist, gave the woman a flyer for Able Care Services – and a number of flyers for the non-existent business were found at Bassi’s home when she was later arrested.

She was taken on to provide two hours of care a day, but always parked away from the address so they did not see her car.

Bassi contacted another woman in Cubbington and claimed to have various qualifications, and as well as providing leg and arm massages, she also gave her Naproxen and Lactulose, a prescription drug for constipation, as ‘a pick-me-up.’

The woman showed the drugs to a retired nurse who became very concerned because of the potential side-effects, particularly for an elderly person.

The woman and her friend contacted the police, as did the daughter of an 89-year-old woman who had been contacted by Bassi offering her services as an occupational therapist.

Approaching the editor of a small magazine for elderly people in Cubbington, to place a full-page advert, Bassi claimed to have a medical degree.

She also approached an elderly woman in a chemist, claiming to be a doctor and an osteopath, and saying she had noticed she was limping and could help her.

The woman turned down her offer, but Bassi followed her as she walked home and into the house where she sat down and took out a box of Naproxen, telling the woman to take them if the pain in her leg got bad.

When Bassi was arrested and interviewed she mainly responded with ‘no comment’ replies, but a few times denied the person was her, despite having dyed-blonde hair as described by many of her victims and entries in her diary linking her to them.

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