Search

D’Souza trial: Alleged shaman fraudster told police of family connection to Prime Minister David Cameron, court hears

08:00 22 May 2014

Juliette D

Juliette D'Souza outside Blackfriars Crown Court. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

An alleged shaman fraudster told police her sister worked for Prime Minister David Cameron after she was arrested at a Hampstead care home, a court heard.

Joey the monkey, who was found at the house in Willoughby RoadJoey the monkey, who was found at the house in Willoughby Road

That was one of the claims made by Juliette D’Souza under police questioning following her arrest at Branch Hill House care home, Branch Hill, where her mother was a resident.

The defendant was carrying five mobile phones and more than £2,800 in cash when she was detained in June 2012, Blackfriars Crown Court heard this week.

In one of two interviews, of which transcripts were read to the trial this week, she told police: “Annie [her sister] works for David Cameron. She does PA stuff and she goes to the House of Commons, although I don’t get involved with that.”

D’Souza, of Perrin’s Lane, Hampstead, is accused of conning 11 people into believing she was a spiritual healer who could cure cancer by hanging cash from a sacred tree in the Amazon jungle in Suriname, over a 12-year period.

In police interviews, the 59-year-old denied the £1million scam, in which she allegedly demanded huge cash “sacrifices” of tens of thousands of pounds at a time, only to splash the money on a lavish lifestyle of luxury flats, Louis Vuitton shopping sprees and first-class air travel.

She insisted she had never claimed to be a shaman, never discussed sacrifices – and accused osteopath Keith Bender, one of her alleged victims, of being “behind it all” because he is “evil”.

The defendant did go to Suriname, but only because her “common-law husband”, named in court as Mr Tjin-a-ton, was a high-ranking police inspector in the South American country, the court heard.

She told police: “At no time have I talked about any sacrifice or any healing and [alleged victim Sylvia Eaves, 83] has never asked me to heal her from anything.

“Bender used to give [Ms Eaves] all kinds of shaman books. He was the one talking about shamans. Keith Bender was probably behind all of it.”

Later, she said: “I know how evil Keith is. I don’t like him. He used to talk about how he would break people’s necks in giving treatment. He actually nearly broke Insp Tjin-a-ton’s neck, he was so jealous of Insp Tjin-a-ton.”

The court also heard that D’Souza, who was known by several different names including Vanessa Campbell, had bragged of curing Monty Python star John Cleese’s daughter of cancer to Stephen Majoram, one of the care workers at Branch Hill House.

Another witness, Sunday Times journalist Tim Rayment, who wrote an article in 2008 exposing the alleged fraud, described tracking the defendant down in Suriname, before fleeing the country after being followed by Mr Tjin-a-ton in a “slow motion car chase” and starting to fear for his safety.

The jury has previously been told that D’Souza held such power over her victims that she persuaded one woman to have an abortion, telling her the unborn child was “deformed”. The woman had struggled to get pregnant for three years and allegedly gave D’Souza £176,000 to help her conceive, prior to the abortion.

When two of the victims broke into D’Souza’s home in Willoughby Road, Hampstead, in 2008, they allegedly discovered countless designer shopping bags, seven freezers filled with rotting meat and a caged monkey called Joey.

D’Souza denies 23 charges of obtaining property by deception and fraud.

The trial continues.

Latest News Stories

Saturday, February 6, 2016
The Mayor of Haringey Cllr Jennifer Mann, signs Hornsey Pensioners Action group's Dignity Action Day petition  calling for Better Care Now! Photo: Nigel Sutton

Intrepid members of Hornsey Pensioners’ Action Group braved Storm Henry to call for the rights of elderly people as part of Dignity Action Day on February 1.

Saturday, February 6, 2016
The Highgate Society debated the economics of austerity with Vicky Pryce, and Ewen Stewart with students, Benedict Milner from Highgate School and Zelda Feldman from La Sainte Union School.

Vicky Pryce, the Greek-born economist who was jailed for perverting the course of justice, told an audience in Highgate last night that austerity is not the answer to the UK’s economic problems.

Saturday, February 6, 2016
Lynne Featherstone celebrates the release of her book Equal Ever After outoside the House of Lords. Photo: Polly Hancock

Lynne Featherstone, former MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, didn’t waste much time after losing her seat in the Lib Dem cull of last year’s general election.

Saturday, February 6, 2016
The Queen Mother opening the hospice

It is a national charity which traces its roots to Hampstead – and now it is appealing for new recruits in its hospice.

Friday, February 5, 2016
Crouch End neighbourhood forum members Dave Winskill, Sally Mustoe & Mark Afford

Friday, February 5, 2016
Headteacher John Dowd spoke at the tribunal. Picture: Nigel Sutton

An employment tribunal has today rejected a former teaching assistant’s claims that she was discriminated against because of her disability.

Friday, February 5, 2016
James Flanagan was jailed for the assault

A Kentish Town man has been jailed for a “sustained, cowardly and vicious” attack which left a top sports journalist in a coma.

Friday, February 5, 2016
The proposed strike has been called off Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A 48-hour Tube strike due to start tomorrow evening has been called off.

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe