Con artist claimed dealers were going to hurl acid at child

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A MUM claimed she was forced to try conning a bank out of thousands to fend off drug dealers who threatened to throw acid in her daughter’s face.

Monique Jackson, 44, walked into a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland in Tranent, East Lothian, and attempted to dupe staff into handing over £4500 using another woman’s details.

The scam was rumbled when a suspicious teller noticed a large withdrawal had already been taken from the account earlier that day.

Jackson, who appeared from custody at Haddington Sheriff Court, had previously claimed four men had forced her into the attempted fraud as payment for an ex-partner’s drug debt.

But that was rejected by Sheriff Peter Braid, who had given her time to prove the allegations before yesterday’s sentencing.

Jackson had earlier pleaded guilty to walking into the bank on October 31, 2011 and pretending to be Elizabeth Sharp, an RBS account holder, without a cash card.

She provided various details about the account and presented a document purporting to be a photographic driving licence in Ms Sharp’s name.

The court was told Jackson had withdrawn cash from Ms Sharp’s account at an RBS branch in Edinburgh, and failed in another attempt on the same day, before being driven out to East Lothian for third bid.

She had been sentenced to two six-month prison terms for those offences following two appearances at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in April.

At a previous hearing, defence agent Charlie Morrison told how Jackson, from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, had been “coerced into committing the offence”.

He said: “The threat was that if she did not do this then acid would be thrown in her 
16-year-old daughter’s face.”

Sheriff Peter Braid then told Jackson that “anyone could come along and say they were coerced”.

He added if she could provide evidence to back up her claim it might “make the difference between a custodial sentence and a non-custodial sentence”.

But Jackson failed to support her claims over the alleged acid attack when she appeared at the court yesterday and was jailed for two months for the attempted fraud.

Sentencing Jackson, Sheriff Braid said: “The first thing I will say is that I do intend to impose a custodial sentence.

“I will take into account what has been said about the Edinburgh matter and this all being one course of conduct, so on that basis the sentence will be shorter than it would have been had it been a standalone matter.

“I’m taking a starting point of three months which I will discount down to two months because of your guilty plea, and that will run consecutive to your current sentences.”