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Jailed: London ‘shaman’ who preyed on the gullible

Jailed: London ‘shaman’ who preyed on the gullible

JULIETTE D’Souza convinced a range of people to hand over money to save the lives of loved ones, avoid being made redundant or cure a variety of illnesses.

Among the London fraudester’s victims was 82-year-old former opera singer Sylvia Eaves, who was duped out of more than £350,000 over 12 years and retired solicitor Richard Collier-Wright, who paid her £7,000 to cure his terminal leukaemia.

Sylvia Eaves

Sylvia Eaves

D’Souza conned nearly £1m out of 11 victims over 12 years.

According to this report, the judge in her trial at Blackfriars Crown Court said that perhaps the “most upsetting” victim was one who gave D’Souza £176,000 over several years to help her get pregnant.

When she actually fell pregnant, D’Souza told her to have an abortion as the unborn child would be “deformed” and “ill”.

While she funded an extravagant lifestyle , many of her 11 victims were left in financial ruin, with one elderly woman having more than £200,000 “remorselessly extracted” from her over 12 years.

D’Souza, 59, from Hampstead, north London, was jailed for 10 years today (Friday) after being convicted of 23 counts of obtaining property by deception and fraud between 1998 and 2010.

Judge Ian Karsten QC said she had cast a “spell” over her victims and told them to hand over large amounts of money or face “terrifying” consequences.

D’Souza visited Suriname and claimed to send money there as a “sacrifice”

The judge said:

It is the worst case of confidence fraud I have ever had to deal with or indeed that I have ever heard of. The most serious aspect of this case is that you wrecked the lives of a number of your victims and you have done it out of pure greed.

The court heard that D’Souza told her victims the money would be used as a spiritual offering and hung off a “special, sacred tree” in the Amazonian rainforest.

In fact she used the proceeds to fund an extravagant lifestyle, spending her cash on a £3,000 Hermes handbag, luxury holidays and antique furniture among other items.

The total amount she defrauded in relation to the charges on the indictment was £908,400, but on the evidence given by victims the final sum was closer to £1m.

Among the places she advertised was Tatler magazine, saying she charged just £35 for a consultation.

But she then demanded large sums for the “sacrifices” she claimed were being sent to Suriname in South America.

The self-proclaimed healer claimed to have helped cure actor John Cleese’s daughter of cancer, boasted that she had known Princess Diana and said she could introduce a young singer to Simon Cowell.

One victim was told to pay £18,000 or her partner would die.

Speaking after the sentence, Mrs Eaves said:

I feel terribly sad that somebody who is so clever would resort to that, especially as she was a friend of mine. I feel terribly let down that she could behave like that.

13 Responses to “Jailed: London ‘shaman’ who preyed on the gullible”

  1. Agent Cormac says:

    While I detest D’Souza for her deception and proclivity for preying on the needy and vulnerable, you do have to wonder at how gullible (or desperate) some people are.

    (BTW hurrah for the edit facility!)

  2. The Vicar says:

    Any relation to Dinesh?

  3. Broga says:

    I suppose what happens is that when the victims think they cannot be saved by clinical medicine they become desperate and are conned by a convincing charlatan. There were some pathetic people amongst this creatures victims.

  4. Stephen Mynett says:

    She is no different to all the other faith healers and woo merchants that prey on people, except that had she been part of an ‘accepted’ religion she would have been allowed to get away with it. A look at the number of HIV patients dying because Pentacostalists have told them to give up their drugs and rely on faith is a good example: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/pentecostal-pastors-hiv_n_3780295.html and http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/pentecostal-pastors-in-africa-push-prayer-not-drugs-for-people-with-hiv/2013/12/04/986e613c-5d0f-11e3-8d24-31c016b976b2_story.html

  5. L.Long says:

    If it can be shown that her victims are mentally impaired then good she’s in jail. If they are all mentally capable then just remember a fool is easily separated from their money. SHe is still scum but don’t care.

  6. bear47 says:

    While she does belong in jail, I think she should be doing hard labor for the entire time she is to serve. I’d say that making little rocks from big rocks would be a good start. All day, every day with a quota to meet. Fail to meet the quota, less food for supper.
    I feel the same and more should also apply to war criminals such as the US “peace”Prizident; aka the drone king, Mr. 5 Deferments Cheney, W. Shrub, Donald Rumsfeld, Tony Blair, and all the rest of the high officials who lied the US/NATO into the illegal, useless damn fool, idiotic wars of choice and those who continue to do so in Libya, Syria, Yemen, all over Africa, and now Ukraine. They should get life at hard labor.
    End of political rant………….for today.
    charlie

  7. Jobrag says:

    In a country where, homeopathy, reiki, faith healing etc etc are allowed why was this woman prosecuted? If she’d actually sent the money to be hung on a tree, would she have been acquitted?

  8. remigius says:

    It’s a pity they can’t jail all ‘shamen’ who prey on the gullible – the jails would be full, and the pulpits empty.

  9. Balita Pinoy says:

    The photograph of Sylvia Eaves is used without the permission and without the appropriate credit of and to Balita Pinoy who hold the copyright

  10. Balita Pinoy says:

    The photograph of Sylvia Eaves is used without the permission of, or being credited to, Balita Pinoy who hold the copyright on it

  11. tony e says:

    From Peter Popoff to Jack Coe,if someone, not a professional, offers to ‘cure you’, history shows, at best, they are talking shit!

  12. remigius says:

    Balita Pinoy. You should send an email to noonegivesafuck@whatever.com

  13. barriejohn says:

    The religious do more preying than praying.