A BAGILLT couple who caused "untold distress" to hardworking families by selling fake holidays have been sentenced.

Karl Allan Bruce and Ellie Jane Roberts, of Beechcroft Close, appeared at Mold Crown Court on Tuesday for sentencing.

Both 28-year-old Roberts and 30-year-old Bruce had previously admitted fraud by false representation between January 2017 and August 2019.

Sarah Badrawy, prosecuting told the court the pair worked together to defraud 25 people who believed they were booking a caravan holiday.

Over the time of the offences they gained more than £4,200 by taking payments from families and people who were looking for an affordable break.

It came to the attention of Action Fraud after they had advertised a caravan they claimed belonged to a relative.

The court heard prospective customers were 'lured' in via social media and advertisement sites, then once payment had been made and complaints were received the profile would be closed and the bank account changed.

Some families travelled hundreds of miles to the holiday parks where they expected to stay, only to discover when they arrived that they has been scammed.

Ms Badrawy said in a message recovered sent from Bruce to Roberts he told her he had "blagged" a woman into making a bank transfer.

Roberts' reply, the court heard, was simply "yay."

Ms Badrawy read from a selection of victim statements to illustrate the scale and impact of the offending.

One of those affected was a woman who had been caring for a terminally ill relative and who had been in need of a break.

Another was devastated after using inheritance money from her father on a family holiday, knowing it's "what he would have wanted."

The scam saw the use of around 30 or more false bank accounts, and involved the use of a 75-year-old man's identity to open them.

Oliver King, defending for Bruce, said: "The defendant has a bad record and he can't escape from that.

"He said he had a number of debts and was struggling to pay bills.

"There's no evidence it was funding a lavish lifestyle.

"He is in full time employment as an assembly operator."

Simon Rogers, defending for Roberts, made reference to the basis of his client's guilty plea; in that she operated under the direction of her co-defendant and was not fully aware of the scale of the fraud, as well as not being involved in all transactions.

Judge Niclas Parry told the pair: "What you both admitted can only be described as callous behaviour - despicable crimes which caused untold distress to hard working people of little means.

"People wanting the best for their children who could only provide enjoyment in very modest terms.

"You were clever in pitching these false holidays to the lower end of the market, thinking you could lure desperate people looking for affordable holidays.

"You've caused real heartache. Children have travelled hundreds of miles excitedly only to be disappointed."

The Judge handed Bruce a 15 month custodial sentence, to be served immediately.

He handed Roberts a four month sentence, but suspended it for a year.

She must undertake 60 hours of unpaid work.