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Police worker Jagruti Patel's Hare Krishna temple fraud

A police worker tried to obtain £20,000 from a Hare Krishna Temple in a scam that was detected before it got under way, a court has heard.

Jagruti Patel, 46, went to Bhaktivedanta Manor, near Watford, with documents on Met Police headed paper.

Patel, of Tooting, south-west London, admitted two fraud charges at St Albans Crown Court. She was given a two-year community order on Tuesday.

The Met Police said she had been suspended and would now be dismissed.

The court heard the forgeries stated Patel was entitled to £6.5m from Spain if £20,000 was handed over.

'New life abroad'

She said she would, in turn, give money to Bhaktivedanta Manor, a building which was donated to the movement in the 1970s by late Beatle George Harrison.

George Heimler, prosecuting, said staff at the temple had been concerned and had called Hertfordshire police, who arrested Patel on 11 July.

"Once she was aware the police had been called she left, leaving behind her documents and passport," said Mr Heimler.

The court heard Patel had been suspended from her job with the Met, where she had worked as an administrative assistant for the past 22 years.

She was employed in the Crime Service Unit that recorded crimes and initiated phone inquiries at the start of investigations.

As part of the job she had access to letter headings with senior officers' names on.

Previous good character

In a police interview she said she was in debt and had wanted to establish a new life abroad.

Patel, of Totterdown Street, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and possessing an article for use in fraud.

Defence barrister Sherry Nabijou said she was of previous good character.

Judge Stephen Warner also sentenced Patel to 150 hours of unpaid work.

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