A mother who conned a former lover into thinking he was the father of her daughter for more than 13 years has been jailed.
The 47-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, swindled him out of at least £48,700 which went on private education and expensive gifts.
She admitted 15 offences of deception when she appeared at Caernarfon Crown Court, in north Wales, yesterday.
And despite a plea for leniency from her daughter, the judge told her he had no choice but to jail her for 20 months
Prosecuting counsel Wyn Lloyd Jones said the victim and defendant had met in the 1990s. Weeks after their relationship ended, the woman rang him and they met at her parentsí home. She told him she was pregnant and lied that he was the father of the unborn child.
The man spent three days with her in hospital, awaiting the birth. 'He thought he had a daughter and immediately began to treat her as such. His family treated her as such. The real father was kept out of the picture,' the prosecutor said.
Soon after the birth the man formed a relationship with another woman who became his wife and they had children. 'The fraud that took place over the years deprived him and his family of a huge amount of money which otherwise they would have been able to enjoy,' counsel remarked.
He paid nursery and school fees, medical expenses and the mumís £3,000 credit card debt. 'There were times when he struggled to pay. He had to work long hours to make ends meet,' Mr Lloyd Jones explained.
It wasnít until 2008 that two mutual friends, one knowing the truth since before the birth, told the victim. 'Perhaps not surprisingly he felt shocked and numb,' the barrister said.
One of the friends had witnessed the defendant and her sister arguing when she was pregnant - the sister wanting the victim to be told he wasnít the real dad.
The defendant had told the pal that the man had money and could support the child. 'She had been to a private school, she wanted the child to have the same.' She also wanted expensive presents for the girl, now 13, to keep up with school friends.
After the bombshell, DNA testing was ordered by a court. Mr Lloyd Jones said : 'Heís clearly been through a great deal including dealing with a very serious false allegation made by this defendant to the police
Elen Owen, defending, said her client had large debts and was in no position to repay the money. The fraud wasnít financially motivated, she said.
Asked by the judge for the reason it occurred, counsel replied: 'Because she was on a rollercoaster and there was no right time to tell somebody who thought he was the father of the child. She was in an almost impossible position so far as coming clean,' counsel added.