Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

From Athletics Star, to Cop, to Drug Addict; Former Discus 'Golden Girl' Is Jailed

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

From Athletics Star, to Cop, to Drug Addict; Former Discus 'Golden Girl' Is Jailed

Article excerpt

Byline: TOM ROWLEY

A STAR athlete turned police officer was a key player in a slick fraud gang targeting conference guests and banks across the region.

Jane Aucott represented her country at the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand before becoming a detective at the end of her track and field career.

But the former discus "golden girl" spiralled into desperate drug addiction.

She lost her job and sank into the life of a full-time confidence trickster to pay for her heroin and crack cocaine.

Now Aucott's downfall has ended with a three-year, eight-month jail sentence before Newcastle Crown Court.

The 43-year-old - often disguised in a wig and poncho - used cards stolen from unsuspecting hotel conference guests to withdraw more than pounds 21,000 from their account.

Judge Roger Thorn said: "Your history is extraordinary by any standards.

"As a younger woman, there you were representing your country at the Commonwealth Games then joining the police force. "Then, set with a golden career no doubt, you became addicted and so you have been for many years thereafter."

Judge Thorn said he gave Aucott credit for her guilty pleas to a string of fraud by misrepresentation charges.

But the fallen star kept committing offences during more than a year on the run after her arrest.

She struck again just days after being given a suspended sentence, the court heard.

And Judge Thorn told her: "You had become a fairly full-time and certainly professional confidence trickster."

Aucott, from Willenhall, Coventry, had already struck in Burton-on-Trent before the crime gang headed North.

During an eight-month campaign, they slipped purses from the bags of delegates attending conferences at North East hotels, including Longhirst Hall in Morpeth, the Novotel in Ponteland and the Marriot in Gosforth three times. …

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