An Essex woman who admitted to “not thinking straight” when she posed as an RVN for a year has been sentenced to a 12-month community order and 150 hours community service.

An Essex woman who admitted to “not thinking straight” when she posed as an RVN for a year has been spared a jail sentence.

Amy Wood has avoided a jail sentence after posing as an RVNAmy Victoria Wood, 25, of Brook Lane Field, Harlow, was sentenced to a 12-month community order and 150 hours community service at a hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on July 30, 2013. She was also ordered to pay £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs after admitting five offences of fraudulent representation.

Between January and November 2012 Woods passed herself off as an RVN to a recruitment agency and four separate practices, netting herself nearly £3,000 in the jobs.

The court was also told that on two occasions she used the identity of a qualified VN.  

Sentencing Woods, the magistrates’ chairman told her: “We have considered sending you to prison today. I cannot stress enough that you committed a fraud on five separate occasions over a year. In addition to that, you used somebody else’s identity and printed false documents.

“The reason we are not sending you into custody is that the net value of the fraud is low, there’s no indication you have done any person or animal any harm and obviously you love animals and wish to continue working as a vet nurse. You pleaded guilty and you have cooperated with police.”

In mitigation, Christine Fernando told the court how Woods was a part-qualified SVN in 2009 when she moved to Australia. While abroad she had a daughter, but later returned to the UK to escape an abusive relationship.

Telling the court Woods had made a “great error of judgement, Ms Fernando added: “At the time of the offences she wasn’t thinking straight.

“She felt she was qualified to undertake work although she wasn’t qualified. She knows her behaviour was completely unacceptable, but she was thinking about supporting her daughter, was under a lot of pressure and mental stress having had a relationship break down. She’s extremely remorseful.”

Since June 2013, Woods has been working at a London animal shelter. She has now re-enrolled as an SVN and plans to finish her VN diploma.

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