Woman who stole dead baby’s identity is jailed

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A WOMAN who stole a dead baby’s identity to claim a passport and used it to apply for a mortgage on a house has been jailed for three years.

Georgina Sharon (Georgine) Murphy, 54, of Lakenholme Gardens, Oswestry and formerly of Pen y Waun, Chirk, had previously pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud, two of failing to notify a change of circumstances and another of falsifying information.

Murphy had been serving a suspended prison sentence for previous fraud offences involving the same dead baby,

Karl Scholz, prosecuting at Mold Crown Court yesterday, painted a damning picture of Murphy’s conduct.

He said: “For Georgine Murphy fraud is a way of life involving the sourcing of materials, the acquisition of documents to support the false identity adopted and above all a willingness and ability to lie.”

Mr Scholz said examples of documents supporting the false identity claims included a passport, pay slips, bank statements and utility bills in the chosen name.

In 2007 Murphy applied for a passport but gave her name as Gail Jones, with a date of birth of May 10, 1957 and an address on Well Street, Cefn Mawr.

But it had since been discovered that Gail Jones, who was born to Buckley parents, died 12 hours after birth.

Murphy had then obtained a £169,000 mortgage advance in Gail Jones’ name to buy a house at Lakenholme Gardens, Oswestry.

The court also heard Murphy had been expected to act in the best interest of beneficiaries of her aunt, Sheila Mary Hand, after her death in 2008 but she committed a string of offences in gaining more than £90,000 as a result, including sums at the expense of relatives who were also beneficiaries.

The offences included applying for a Halifax credit card in the name of her late relative and syphoning about £80,000 from Mrs Hand’s accounts.

Adrian Palmer, defending, asked Judge Philip Hughes to suspended any prison sentence. He urged the judge to take into consideration Murphy’s early guilty pleas and said Murphy had psychiatric and psychological issues.

“That does not excuse the offences she has pleaded guilty to but does go some way to explaining the cause of the offences,” said Mr Palmer.

Murphy, said Mr Palmer, had said she had made an attempt to start paying off the debts.

Sentencing, Judge Philip Hughes described Murphy as a “sophisticated and cunning fraudster”. He said her actions were “prolonged, well planned, well organised and carried out in breach of trust”.

He told her: “It seems to me that, while you do have issues with mental health, neither your physical nor mental health had any significant influence on your criminal conduct. You must receive a custodial sentence.”

He added: “What makes your position even worse is that you committed similar offences before and in 2010 you were given a nine month [suspended] custodial sentence.”

Murphy was given a custodial sentence for each of the seven offences, to run concurrently. The length of the suspended sentence Murphy must serve was reduced from nine months to six months.

See full story in the Leader

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