Gwent mum jailed after telling Royal Marine ex baby was his
12:44pm Monday 18th February 2013 in News
A YOUNG Gwent mum who conned her Royal Marine ex-boyfriend into thinking he was the father of her baby - and allowed him to pay thousands towards the child's upkeep - has been jailed.
The "father" was serving in Afghanistan when his ex, in her twenties, e-mailed him the news that she was pregnant with his child.
Despite his suspicions, he treated the baby girl as his own and paid out thousands in maintenance before the mother's web of lies came apart.
She was jailed for six months at Newport Crown Court after admitting two counts of fraud last month and has now failed in a Court of Appeal bid to be allowed to return to her daughter.
The court heard the couple had a brief relationship in 2006 but separated shortly before he was deployed to Afghanistan.
While there, he received an e-mail saying she was pregnant with his child. She insisted she was telling the truth, despite his suspicions.
When he returned, they rekindled the relationship for a short time and, despite his doubts, he continued to pay towards the child's support.
In 2009, he asked for a DNA test, which was arranged. The results showed he was not the father, but the mother, from Gwent, lied.
However, her deceit began to unravel when she sent a letter purporting to confirm the child's paternity to the Marine's sister and discrepancies in dates were noted.
He was still abroad in 2011 when she told his fiancée a second DNA test had confirmed he was the father, but he had ordered results himself and discovered the fraud.
In a victim impact statement, he said it was not the lost cash which hurt him most, but the discovery that the child he had treated as his own was not.
He described it as like a "bereavement", having decided not to stay in touch with the little girl because he thought it might cause her difficulties in later life.
The mother said the fraud was not motivated by financial gain, but by wanting her daughter to have consistency in her life. She said she initially believed the Marine was the father.
Her solicitor, Justin Evans, argued at the Court of Appeal that the six-month sentence she received was too long.
Prison had come as "a crushing blow" to her, he said. But, worse still, her daughter had lost not only the person she thought was her dad, but also her mother for months.
But Mr Justice Eder, who heard the appeal in London with Lord Justice Laws and Judge Michael Stokes QC, said the offences were too serious to justify cutting the sentence to release her.
"What is absolutely clear is that, at the very latest, the appellant was well aware he wasn't the father from August 2009 when she received the results of the DNA test," he said.
"There can be little doubt about the devastating effect the appellant's actions have had on him and, in our view, these are important aggravating factors.
"We have no doubt that these offences justified the judge's conclusion that an immediate custodial sentence was appropriate.
"We don't consider that the sentence imposed by the judge was wrong in principle or manifestly excessive."