30 May 2014


The UK Independent has report on conviction of Juliette D’Souza - a “witch doctor” - who persuaded vulnerable people to pay for spiritual cures for serious health problems, an aggregate £1m payment.

The supposed healer reportedly claimed the money would be hung from a magic tree in the Amazon rainforest (presumably if it was hung from a magic tree at the north pole the loot might be pocked by a bear or miscreant elves) but spent the money on jewellery, antiques, holidays and of course Louis Vuitton handbags.

D’Souza was remanded in custody after being convicted on 23 counts of obtaining property by deception and fraud. Kartsten J at Blackfriars Crown Court commented “With this history of confidence trickery I really can’t rely on your client turning up tomorrow".

D’Souza claimed she had known Princess Diana, had cured John Cleese’s daughter of cancer and could introduce a young singer to Simon Cowell.
In one case, a 41-year-old woman paid D’Souza £176,000 to help her conceive. When the woman did become pregnant, D’Souza told her to abort the baby, saying it was deformed. 
In another, Sunday Times photographer Jocelyn Bain Hogg paid her £43,000 to help his mother, who was undergoing heart surgery. She told him that “his mother would die if he didn’t pay”. 
A retired solicitor, Richard Collier-Wright, paid D’Souza £7,000 to try to cure him of leukaemia, while the mother of a 10-year-old boy with Down’s syndrome handed over £42,000 to deal with his behavioural problems.
Other sources report that one victim paid £169,000 from 1998 to 2004 to "ward off the evil spirit of her deceased brother, save her partner from a nonexistent tumour and ensure her eye surgery would be a success", which (quelle surprise) it was not. That victim's friend handed over £195,000 in the same period, with much of the money supposed to secure his job. (The magic money tree was out of order, as he was made redundant.) 83 year old retired opera singer Sylvia Eaves was conned out of £353,000.