Woman from Chirk stole dead baby's identity
A mother whose dead baby's identity was stolen by a 53-year-old woman to commit fraud says the case has made her re-live her loss again.
Georgina Murphy, of Chirk near Wrexham, used the identity of Gail Jones to claim benefits and buy a house.
Murphy was given a nine-month jail sentence at Mold Crown Court, suspended for a year, after admitting nine offences of false accounting and fraud.
The baby's mother, Doreen Jones, said the identity ordeal had made her ill.
Gail died in May 1957 before she was a day old.
Mrs Jones, of Buckley, Flintshire, made a victim impact statement which she asked to be read in court because she wanted the emotional distress of Murphy's crime to be taken into account.
The statement said: "If a baby dies now, the parents get to hold her. They are given a photograph of their baby's hand and footprints.
"But back then, I never even got to hold her. All we were left with was the name we gave her - but now even that has been taken from us."
Prosecutor Alex Offer said it was a sophisticated fraud where the defendant had created and extensively used the false identity, which was possibly taken from a gravestone.
Murphy had obtained a National Insurance number in the baby's name, together with a birth certificate, utility bills and wage slips.
The court was told that she had used the baby's identity to claim benefits from 2006 to 2009 and buy a house.
Judge Philip Hughes said that he had to recognise that the amount of money the defendant received, about £7,450, was modest, she had pleaded guilty and was a woman of good character.
Murphy was also suffering from complex mental health problems brought about by experiences in her childhood.
She was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and placed on supervision for a year.
Mrs Jones, now in her 80s, said in the victim impact statement that the fraud squad had called round and asked about Gail.
"It's difficult for me to explain how I felt at that moment," she said.
"I thought I was going to be told that there had been a mix up, that she had been given to someone else, and she was alive and grown up, that I was finally going to be able to see her and hold her and tell her I loved her.
"But instead we were told someone had obtained a copy of her birth certificate and had used her name to create a false identity."
She added: "I just hope something can be done to stop this sort of thing happening to other families like mine who had been through enough grief in losing a child, without being forced to re-live it and have the added anguish of their child's name being abused in this way."