Stoke & Staffordshire

Bogus Staffordshire vets convicted of fraud

Lynda Lerwill-Carter and Olanrewaju Oduloju
Image caption Lerwill-Carter and Oduloju breached their customer's trust

A couple from Staffordshire who claimed to be vets despite having no legal UK qualifications have been convicted of running a fraudulent business.

Olanrewaju Oduloju, 39, and Lynda Lerwill-Carter, 51, ran a veterinary service from their Rugeley home in 2008 and 2009 and pleaded guilty to fraud.

Seven customers reported them to the authorities for their "dubious advice".

Oduloju received a 26-week suspended jail sentence and Lerwill-Carter was given a two-year supervision order.

Oduloju also stole the identity of a properly registered vet, Stafford Crown Court heard, and was ordered to complete 150 hours community service.

He claimed to have qualified as a vet in Nigeria, but neither the defence nor Staffordshire County Council Animal Health Team were able to ascertain whether his claim was true.

Judge Mark Eades told him: "You are in the unique position of being able to prove this, but for all I know you could be a charlatan."

The pair ran Canalside Mobile Vets between September 2008 and April 2009 and printed flyers and business cards advertising their emergency mobile call-out service.

The council was unable to prove how many pets were "treated" by the pair, who had pretended to inject animals with drugs and advised owners to treat dogs with milk and honey.

When their business premises were raided a variety of veterinary equipment was seized.

Mr Eades said the couple were "guilty of a gross breach of trust as far as the owners of animals were concerned."

Speaking after sentencing Oduloju said: "I have apologised and I didn't deceive anyone."

Lerwill-Carter had no comment.

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