Cape Town mom jailed for fraud

2014-11-25 23:01

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Cape Town - The former accountant at the Raya Hotel Group, Mymona Creighton, a mother of three minor children, was jailed for eight years on Tuesday, on multiple fraud charges involving R9 687 677.

She appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town before Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.

She pleaded for a "second chance in life", in the form of a suspended prison sentence, and seemed stunned when prosecutor Simon Leope said he would propose the prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years.

Creighton was speechless, and unable to respond, when the prosecutor asked for her comment about his proposal.

The prescribed minimum is for first-time offenders found guilty of fraud involving R500 000 or more.

A weepy Creighton told the court about her years of marriage to an abusive husband, who had since divorced her in accordance with Islamic rights, for another woman.

The proceedings revolved around her role as a primary caregiver to her children, and her teenage daughter told the court that she had no relationship with her father, and did not want to live with him if her mother were jailed.

The prosecutor asked: "Has it crossed your mind that a heavy sentence would be imposed today?"

She replied: "If you endured the abuse that I have suffered for many years, you would understand."

She told the court: "I break down in tears at night when I go down on my knees to God.

"The mere thought that my kids will be with their father whilst I am in prison, kills me.

"I beg the court to grant me a second chance, to enable me to make amends.

"I’ve been to hell and back over the last few years.

"I will wash walls, scrub floors and do anything, to save my children having to go to their father."

A serious case

The magistrate said the case was too serious to even consider a suspended prison sentence or correctional supervision involving a short period of incarceration.

She said the interests of minor children were of paramount importance, and that social workers would report regularly to the court about the welfare of Creighton’s children.

She said Creighton, by stealing from her employer, had "bitten the hand that feeds you".

Creighton’s circumstances, including that she was a primary caregiver to children under the age of 18 and the victim of serious abuse, justified a less severe sentence than 15 years.

The magistrate added: "It’s time for you to inform your children about the case, and the prison sentence.

"It sounds harsh, but it’s all part of responsible parenting."

If the sentence were too lenient, the community would disapprove and be encouraged to take the law into their own hands, she said.

Creighton had embezzled her employer in order to appease her abusive husband and gain favour with him, she said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fraud  |  crime

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