04 March 2011 09:35
A woman who worked as a nanny for Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold said she is "deeply sorry" after admitting attempting to poison the lingerie tycoon with screenwash.
Allison Cox will be sentenced today after contaminating food which had been prepared for the millionairess in an attempt to get the chef into trouble.
Speaking to ITV1's Daybreak, Cox said she was praying she would avoid jail, but has prepared herself "for the worst".
After breaking down in tears, she added: "I'm deeply, deeply sorry. I will never be able to work with children again.
"It haunts me every single day."
Cox was hired by Ms Gold to look after her daughter Scarlett at her mansion in Whyteleafe, Surrey.
She pleaded guilty to one charge of administering poison with intent to injure, aggrieve or annoy during a hearing at Guildford Crown Court on February 3rd.
Cox was originally charged with a further two counts of attempting to poison Ms Gold with sugar and salt, but the indictment against her was amended during the previous hearing.
Prosecutor Rachel Davies previously said Ms Gold, who she referred to as Ms Cunningham, was not harmed after eating the food laced with screenwash on October 5th last year.
She said: "The harm wasn't physical. It was anxiety really that this was happening to her."
Giving a brief outline of the case, she said: "There was, it appears, some animosity from the defendant towards the cook which then caused the defendant to put certain articles including the screenwash and the salt and the sugar into certain food items that were consumed by Jacqueline Cunningham.
"She put it into the food to cause the cook to be questioned about it."
Ms Gold is known as one of Britain's most successful businesswomen with a reputed fortune of about £180 million.
Alistair Harper, for the defence, earlier said Cox was of previous good character.
Judge Christopher Critchlow last month said she would get credit for pleading guilty but all sentencing options remained open.
In her TV interview, Cox said she had always wanted to work with children.
She said there had been tension with Ms Gold's housekeeper "from day one", and that she twice added salt to her cooking in an attempt to "ruin her food".
"I just thought it might taste disgusting and Jacqueline might think she was perhaps not very good at cooking," Cox said.
Describing the incident on October 5th, she said she put a capful of diluted screenwash in some soup she was delivering to her boss's office.
She said: "I thought Jacqueline was going to eat the soup and perhaps think it tasted a bit soapy."
Asked what would have happened if Ms Gold's child had eaten the soup, she tearfully replied: "I don't know what to say."