£33m jackpot claimant facing trial for theft in UK

A grandmother who staked a claim to a £33m (€43.2m) National Lottery jackpot is facing trial after being accused of stealing a purse and an Xbox controller.

Susanne Hinte, aged 48, from Warndon, Worcester, pleaded not guilty to the offences last summer and is due back at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court in March.

The news came as the holder of the second ticket which scooped a half-share of a record £66m jackpot came forward.

Camelot said the punter, who bought a ticket for the January 9 draw in Worcester, had opted to remain anonymous after lodging a valid claim on the outstanding prize of £33,035,323.

The lottery operator had been investigating hundreds of claims of lost, damaged or stolen tickets in Worcester, including one from the grandmother who said her ticket was damaged in a washing machine.

Ms Hinte has not commented on the furore surrounding her claim and is believed to have deleted her Facebook page.

She is alleged to have committed the offences by taking the items from a home in January last year.

Vinny Bolina, spokesman for West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said Ms Hinte had appeared in court under the name Suzanna Hint and was due to go on trial accused of theft on March 1.

Ms Hinte is reported to have presented a crumpled ticket — which had a damaged barcode and no visible date — at Ambleside News in Worcester in the hours after the announcement.

The Daily Telegraph reported sources as saying Camelot’s decision not to obtain CCTV footage from the newsagent ruled her out from the prize before the winner came forward.

The paper quoted a source who said: “If Ms Hinte was even suspected of winning the lottery the first thing Camelot would have done is grab that CCTV footage.

"The footage is proof of where she bought the ticket and at what time.”

Married couple David and Carol Martin, both 54, from Hawick in the Scottish Borders, won the other half of the massive payout.

In a statement confirming that the remaining winner had come forward, Camelot said: “The ticket-holder has opted to remain anonymous. Under its licence to operate The National Lottery, Camelot has a duty of care to protect the anonymity of all National Lottery winners.

"Therefore no further details will be released about this ticket-holder’s claim.”


Lifestyle

I see that a website describes the call of Canarian cory’s shearwaters as ‘waca waca’. It’s a mad, hysterical call, uttered when the parent birds arrive to feed their nestlings.Cory’s shearwaters show long-distance qualities

Is it too much to hope that an important public health matter, such as Lyme disease, will be an issue in the general election? There’s been a worrying reluctance by the authorities to face up to the extent of the disease here.Facing up to Lyme disease

A paper published in Current Biology examines the extinction of a colourful little bird which, until recently, thrived in the eastern US. With the appalling environmental catastrophe enveloping Australia, home to 56 of the world’s 370 parrot species, this account of the Carolina parakeet’s demise is timely.Trying to save the parrot is not all talk

The recent rescue of a trawler 20km north of Fanad Head in Co Donegal gave us a glimpse of the enormous seas that occasionally strike that part of the coast.Islands of Ireland: Inishbeg Island begs the question

More From The Irish Examiner