A “wholly dishonest” homeless woman, who moved around the island “mercilessly exploiting the goodwill of others” and repaying their kindness by soiling their premises, has been sentenced to nine months in prison.
German national Sonia Evelyn Selwig will also be recommended for deportation after her release from HMP La Moye. It is the Home Affairs Minister who will ultimately make that decision.
Selwig (53), a wheelchair user, was sentenced on Monday in the Magistrate’s Court - three days after the same court had found her guilty of fraud, malicious damage and causing a public nuisance by leaving her excrement and urine in a number of public places last summer.
These included a tea room in St. Peter, Les Quennevais Sports Centre, the Jersey Accommodation and Activity Centre in St. Martin, and two Morrisons stores.
Pictured: The case was heard by the Magistrate's Court.
Sentencing, Magistrate Bridget Shaw said: “You mercilessly exploited the goodwill of others to your own ends and there appeared to be no limits to your behaviour.
“In my view, you would do anything to get what you want. You are wholly dishonest - you said that friends and friends would provide money, yet you have no family here and, when you put forward one name, that person said they had no wish to know you at all.
“Your behaviour was deliberate and appalling. You preyed on the kindness of others. They felt awkward and embarrassed but you knew that they could not say no and you exploited that.
“And you repaid them with the extreme soiling of their premises. There is no excuse for what you did.”
Pictured: The Jersey Accommodation and Activity Centre was among the premises targeted by Selwig.
In recommending deportation, Mrs Shaw said: “You have cost the authorities a huge amount of time, all during the covid pandemic, when there were enhanced risks for everyone and more pressing needs.
“Your obstinacy and constant requests for services you are not eligible for has also put a significant strain on the prison service. You have no ties to Jersey and I am satisfied that your human rights are not affected by a recommendation for deportation.”
Before the Magistrate had passed sentence, Advocate Adam Harrison, defending Selwig, said that his client maintained her innocence and would look to appeal.
Referring to a report prepared by agencies in Jersey based on their dealings with Selwig, Advocate Harrison said that there were “good grounds to assume” that she had both a personality disorder and a disorder whereby a person feigns having injury or illness in order to access care.
However, he added that there was no evidence that she had done this for “excitement or financial gain."
Addressing deportation, he said his client was adamant that she was not born in Germany and was not a German national, and she had been brought up in the UK. If she was a British national, she would therefore not be eligible for deportation.
Pictured: Addressing deportation, Selwig's lawyer said she was adamant that she was not born in Germany, and she had been brought up in the UK.
However, police legal adviser Simon Crowder said that he had a German birth certificate for Selwig and inquiries by Immigration Officers had found that she had only arrived in the UK after 2000.
He added that, because of her previous UK residence, the UK would be invited to take Selwig as part of the deportation process. However, it was a voluntary arrangement and the UK had every right to refuse.
Mr Crowder said that the Magistrate’s recommendation for deportation did not need to specify a country, and it was up to Immigration officials to determine where Selwig would be sent, if the UK refused to accept her.
Selwig has been remanded in custody since October.
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