A FRAUDSTER who planned to pursue a career in finance fled through a window after she was rumbled trying to buy a £37,000 car using false documents.

Kalita Pierre tried to buy a Mercedes at AMC Prestige Cars, between Dedham and Manningtree.

The 22-year-old visited the dealership with a forged driving licence in a bid to secure the high-end car on finance after being persuaded by an unnamed friend to help carry out the act.

But staff had grown suspicious of the application and asked the pair to wait in a room while they contacted the police.

Realising they had been rumbled, the two fraudsters fled through a window.

Pierre, of Beacon Road, London, did escape from the building but was later apprehended by officers.

She admitted fraud by false representation in November 2016.

A sentencing hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court heard a business impact statement penned by Tom Stokes, of AMC Prestige Cars.

He said: “The cost is purely the time wasted.

"This would amount to 30 man hours.

“The business had to be closed for two days after this.

“This deprived the business of two sales which did not get done, costing the business £6,000.

"CCTV, alarms and floodlights were installed as a result.”

Elizabeth Lambert mitigating, described Pierre as a “highly educated and intelligent” young woman, who harbours ambitions of working in finance.

“Prior to pleading guilty she was of good character,” she said.

“It is very sad and unfortunate she became involved in this criminal activity.

“She is deeply ashamed of her action that day.

“It is clear on the prosecution evidence there was another person involved, directing what was going on, and that this young lady was not involved in the preparation or sending of the application.

“She is not the mastermind. This idea was to obtain the vehicle for another person.”

Recorder Kenneth Carr sentenced Pierre to 12 months in jail, suspended for one year.

He said: “You were led there by another, but to try and obtain a motor vehicle worth £37,500 by fraud is sufficiently serious it passes the custody threshold.

“Though you may have been under some pressure yourself, you took it upon yourself to involve another person - a friend of yours.”