Warrant out for arrest of convicted Portsmouth fraudster

WANTED Joanne Brooks

WANTED Joanne Brooks

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A JUDGE has issued a warrant for the arrest of a convicted fraudster who failed to turn up at court for the second time.

Conwoman Joanne Brooks was due to be sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday for plundering £158,000 from her former employers, CA Automotive, in Gosport.

But for the second time running the 42-year-old did not attend court and instead contacted her solicitor to say she was in hospital with heart trouble.

Judge Sarah Munro QC ordered the police to check with hospitals in Portsmouth and Southampton.

When no trace of Brooks could be found with the hospitals the judge issued a warrant for her arrest.

Prosecutor Tammy Mears said: ‘In the circumstances I would seek a warrant.

‘No medical evidence has been supplied.

‘Obviously Ms Brooks did not attend on the last occasion and the crown is concerned this may be a method of avoiding coming to court for sentence.’

Louisa Bagley, defending, said there had been contact from Brooks’ family but they had no medical evidence that she was in hospital.

‘It’s a concern,’ she said.

Brooks of Binsteed Road, Buckland, Portsmouth, took the money from Laura and Roy Carvalho who ran the family business.

She has admitted two counts of fraud stretching from October 2009 to July 2011.

Brooks began to weave her web of lies after starting work in an administrative role at the couple’s business, which worked on modifying BMW cars.

She became involved with the firm’s accounts and took the money, leaving the company in debt.

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