A WOMAN has been spared jail after subjecting her elderly mother to a heart-breaking "betrayal" by defrauding her out of more than £1,000.

Christine Edwards, of First Avenue in Gwersyllt, appeared at Mold Crown Court on Thursday for sentence.

The 70-year-old had previously been convicted of two counts of fraud, which took place in Wrexham.

Ryan Rothwell, prosecuting, told the court the victim in the case is Nancy Haines, the defendant's mother.

She is in her late 80s and had dementia.

Edwards, one of the victim's three daughters and for some time the one who provided the "bulk" of her support, had access to Ms Haines' bank cards and finances.

Over a period of some 15 months, between May 2019 and August 2020, she carried out a total of 11 transactions totalling just under £1,300.

She'd spent £389.90 at Gresford Eye Care and £908.28 at JayDee Aquatics.

Mr Rothwell said once the offences had come to light, the family had been torn apart.

He read a statement from Ms Haines, in which she said: "This has absolutely broken my heart.


"The one person I thought I trust had been stealing my money.

"As if my dementia diagnosis wasn't enough to bear. This has destroyed me.

"I will never come to terms with the lies."

Patrick Gartland, defending, told the court: "One of the things she has said to me is that it was always her intention to pay the money back."

But Judge Niclas Parry interceded: "When you say that, let's not beat about the bush - it's £1,200 and she's had four years.

"If it was her intention to pay it back, why hasn't it been done.

"I'm not taking that as much of a mitigating feature and will make a court order that she pays it back."

Mr Gartland continued: "She would welcome that opportunity to pay it back.

"The greatest single point in mitigation is clearly that this is very much out of character.

"She's 70 with no previous convictions whatsoever.

"And it's highlighted in the pre-sentence report that there's clear remorse.

"This wasn't something that was done out of malice. At the time the defendant's youngest son was going through mortgage problems and there were financial difficulties put on her.

"This has had a devasting impact on her and the family unit as a whole.

"The activity was originally legitimate - she was assisting her mum at a time when no one else was able to.

"But she clearly acted inappropriately and abused that position.

The Leader:

"She hasn't been in contact with her sisters or her mum for a significant period of time."

Judge Parry told the defendant: "Ms Edwards, it doesn't get much more shameful than this.

"It is difficult indeed to imagine how someone could stoop much lower.

"It's a case of nothing less than betrayal.

"The greatest tragedy from this sorry tale is your mother, in her final years, feels betrayed and she will no doubt think only of this now, as opposed to all the happy memories that should be sustaining her at this stage of her life."

The Judge handed down a 12 month custodial sentence, but suspended it for 12 months.

The defendant will be subject to an electrotonically monitored curfew until August 1.
She must pay £1,298.48 in compensation.