Belfast Telegraph

Which was worse: the robbery or someone thinking that woman was dead ringer for you?

By Lindy McDowell

Poor Gloria Hunniford. Bad enough having to deal with internet smirks about how the star of Rip Off Britain has herself been targeted by thieves who drained £120,000 from her account.

But how much more galling for a woman whose trademark throughout her long career has been her elegance, her age-defying looks and her meticulous grooming to find out that the Gloria “lookalike” who spearheaded the scam is revealed on CCTV footage to be a barrel-bellied old bat in drawstring trousers and gutties.

Not so much a ringer, as it turns out. More a minger...

There were sniggers in court when the bank teller who had dealt with the fake Gloria, her “daughter” and her “grandson”, claimed she had no idea who the star was because she was “not of my time”.

She’s pretty famous, the prosecutor pointed out. Not in my opinion, sniped the teller.

But there’s nothing comical about a case that involves cold and calculating theft on such a scale.

Gloria Hunniford as we know, is an enormously, heroically, strong woman has come through much, much greater adversity in life than this.

And while I doubt if she gives two hoots about the appearance of her so-called lookalike, there is that cruel, poignant twist of this vile trio posing as Gloria, her “daughter” and her “grandson”.

Given the real Gloria’s terrible past loss what a contemptible, cynical, low act. And speaking of contemptible...

The youth who played the role of Gloria’s “grandson” and now finds himself spared prison because he is apparently off to university (what’s he studying? Larceny?) should count himself lucky he’s been treated so leniently. Many might say, a bit too leniently...

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TV's Gloria: 'I felt 'violated' after lookalike conwoman swindled me out of £120k' 

The bank concerned has repaid Gloria’s money (although you do wonder would it have paid up quite so quickly if the victim had been someone less well-known?)

But you can well understand the television star’s bewilderment about how this bizarre bank security lapse was allowed to happen in the first place.

“I didn’t understand it from the off. I felt completely violated. These were my savings.

“You expect your money to be safe in a bank but it is not,” she said.

On the plus side, given the publicity the case has now attracted, the CCTV mugshot of the not-so-glorious “Gloria” should hopefully lead to the brazen conwoman and her accomplice facing justice.

For ironically she’s now found fame in her own right — as the ugly face of rip-off Britain.

Belfast Telegraph


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