Edgware Road professional beggar found guilty of child cruelty

A PROFESSIONAL female beggar who forced her children onto the streets of Westminster to ask people for money is facing a lengthy jail term. Speranta Mihai, 33, used her two sons and three daughters as props when they accompanied her on Edgware Road and

A PROFESSIONAL female beggar who forced her children onto the streets of Westminster to ask people for money is facing a lengthy jail term.

Speranta Mihai, 33, used her two sons and three daughters as "props" when they accompanied her on Edgware Road and the streets of Paddington and Bayswater.

She also sent them out unaccompanied to coax cash out of passers-by through aggressively harassing them.

Her husband, Gheorghe was warned he will be jailed for a series of frauds.

At Reading Crown Court on Monday the pair - both Romanian nationals and members of the Roma community - admitted two charges of child cruelty, relating to making the youngsters beg and to not providing them with an education.

Georghe Mihai had already admitted four counts of fraud and one of converting criminal property.