A “HEARTBROKEN and betrayed” daughter told a court she was left with a “million unanswered questions” after her mum fleeced her out of £19,300 – which was intended for a dream wedding.
In a victim personal statement Denvar Bathie spoke of her devastation as her mother, Trudy Collins, of Frome Road, Walney, received a suspended prison sentence for theft at Preston Crown Court yesterday.
Collins, 44, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.
Miss Bathie’s statement said: “I trusted my mum more than anyone else. I believed her every word.
“You would never second guess or not trust her. She is my mother. I believed we had a strong, unbreakable bond.”
The offences occurred between October 2012 and June last year after Miss Bathie entrusted a debit card from a savings account to her mother for safekeeping after Collins advised her: “You will only spend it if you have it.”
But that trust was shattered with revelations that Collins had used the card for around 173 transactions – including expensive holidays.
Miss Bathie’s statement described how her “whole world stopped” and she had “broken down” in the bank when the full extent of her mum’s betrayal came to light.
Her statement said: “I was betrayed and heartbroken with a million questions left unanswered.”
Collins was on holiday in Egypt, at Miss Bathie’s expense, when her daughter realised the extent of the financial black hole in her account.
Ms Emma Kehoe, prosecuting, said that in 2011 Miss Bathie set up a savings account and arranged for a direct debit to be made from her current account each month.
She was saving up for a mortgage or her wedding.
Ms Kehoe said: “The defendant had gone on to use the card as if it was her own.”
Two names included on the list of transactions were Selfridges in Manchester and The Hilton International.
Miss Bathie had only used the account to plan her wedding, but to her surprise received a phone call from the NatWest fraud department in early June last year, asking her about a transaction at The Vue cinema in Barrow and a transaction through Amazon.
After being challenged by her daughter, Collins admitted her crime.
She insisted, as she did in police interview, that she had borrowed from her and that she was always going to pay the money back.
She told police she had been too embarrassed to ask.
Ms Rosalind Emsley-Smith, defending, said a difficult period in Collins’ life had begun with the breakdown of her marriage in 2009.
When her ex-husband died in 2013 her problems worsened.
Ms Emsley-Smith said: “The defendant found herself in something of a spiral of out of control behaviour.
“She entered a period of life where she describes it as having lost the plot.”
Collins was given 12 months’ prison, suspended for two years, with 150 hours’ unpaid work and a three-month 10pm to 7am curfew.
The judge, Recorder John Corless, said: “This is indeed a tragic case. This has caused real stress within the family, following on from earlier stress.
“I have found this to be a very difficult case. This was a serious breach of trust.
“I have come to the conclusion it would be appropriate to suspend the sentence.”