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Workaholic cleaner will appeal against nine-month prison sentence

Workaholic cleaner will appeal against nine-month prison sentence

Saturday 30 July 2016

Workaholic cleaner will appeal against nine-month prison sentence

Saturday 30 July 2016


Cleaning lady Maria Fernandes, who worked 85 hours a week, will appeal against her sentence after she admitted stealing over £5,000 in cash.

Fernandes, 36, admitted the theft and told the Magistrates’s Court on Wednesday her teenage daughter may have to be taken into care if she was imprisoned.

Relief Magistrate David Le Cornu said he jailed her for nine months as there were not sufficient “exceptional circumstances” for the cleaner to retain her liberty.

Fernandes, who has no previous convictions, claimed she was taking the money back when she was arrested, but her plea to stay out of prison was rejected. 

Prosecuting, Police Legal Adviser Carla Carvalho said Fernandes, who required an interpreter in court, stole a total of £5,768 from bundles of cash at an address in Old Beaumont Hill.

Four days later, as Fernandes was about to start her next shift at the address, the mother-of-one was arrested by police, who found the exact same amount of money in her handbag, £5,768, that she stole.  

Fernandes, through her Defending Advocate Sarah Dale, told the court she was taking the money back to its rightful owner having realised the error of her ways. She said the money was to pay for her father’s medical bills as he had recently been diagnosed with cancer, but after thinking again about her actions, decided to return the wads of cash.  

But the Magistrate sentenced her to jail amid gasps from around the courtroom and as  Fernandes was taken out of the dock she sobbed into a hankerchief. 

The case has generated huge interest, with the vast majority of Express readers critical of the Magistrates’ decision to jail he as she had no previous convictions, was extremely hard-working and was sole carer for her 13-year-old daughter. 

Fernandes, of Rouge Bouillon, has now confirmed that she will appeal against the length of the sentence to the Royal Court on Tuesday. 

It is unclear whether Fernandes, who has been imprisoned at HMP La Moye, will be allowed her liberty while she awaits that appeal. 


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