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DUPED BY A CON.WOMAN : Gladys Hardgrave (1935)

Posted by Jack Sim on 24 November 2014

On the 24th of February 1935 The Truth Newspaper reported that Gladys Hardgrave was found guilty of astute confidence tricks, after a dramatic legal fight. This short, slim woman with tear brimmed sparkling blue eyes stood weeping as she was sentenced to 37 weeks imprisonment. As she was led to the watch house cells she murmured "to think it has come to this".


At large in Queensland for little over a month, Gladys Hardgrave posed as a gentlewoman, robbing businesses in Brisbane, Caboolture and Southport of more than £123 (roughly $10,670). She was revealed to be a clever swindler, tricking over 7 stores, banks and business people, purchasing shoes, hotel rooms, clothing, handing them boomerang cheques and simply walking away with goods and money. Dud cheques fell like autumn leaves.

The C.I.B. Branch started their investigation, Detective acting Sergeant "Nobby" Clark, Detective Currey and Purcel were assigned to the task of catching this fraud.  They found her in one of the leading hotels in Sandgate, posing as a wealthy widow, with a trained nurse to attend to her 17 month old daughter.

When arrested, Gladys was wild and uncaring, but after hours in court she began to weep with her head bowed. She told detectives her crimes were committed in order to live well and look after her baby.
Author: Jack Sim
Tags: Boggo Road Tales True Crime Stories General Jack Sim
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