© Getty Images Nurse faked having baby by 'borrowing' friend's child
A nurse who was jilted after a one-night stand 'borrowed' a friend's baby, and abused her position to fake a DNA test and birth certificate, to convince a man they had a child together, a court heard.
Charmaine Wilson tricked Liam Griffiths into thinking he was the the father of the baby boy for six months, leading to Mr Griffiths and his family to shower gifts on the child, Cardiff Crown Court heard. They bought her a car to help her get to work at The Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, and started building the mother and child a small house on the grounds of the family home.
But Wilson on Monday walked free from court, after a judge ruled that her original prison sentence, handed down last month, was too harsh.
Judge David Wynn Morgan told Wilson, 25, that she had left Mr Griffiths “with a feeling of loss similar to bereavement” because of the lie. However, he found that a 16-week jail term handed to Miss Wilson by a magistrates’ court was excessive, freeing her after 23 days inside.
The judge handed Wilson a 32-week sentence, suspended for two years, on the condition that she attend a victim awareness, or ‘thinking skills’, course.
Wilson’s fraud was discovered when a real relative of the boy spotted a picture of him with Mr Griffiths, 31, on Facebook. The relative broke the news to Mr Griffiths that he could not be the father, leaving him distraught.
He alerted police and Wilson was arrested on suspicion of fraud.
Ruling that Wilson should go on a ‘thinking skills’ course instead of spending any more time in prison, Judge Morgan said: "The feelings of your victim and his family were needlessly engaged. The discovery of the child's real identity has left them with a feeling of loss similar to bereavement.
"You have an immature and self-centred attitude. You failed to recognise the emotional impact of your forgery - your own hurt feelings took priority in your mind.
"After the totally wicked thing you have done, no-one feels sorry for you."
Wilson abused her position as a nurse to forge the fake birth certificate and bogus DNA test, the court heard. She succeeded in convincing Mr Girffiths’s parents that they were the child’s grandparents.
Wilson's fraud lasted six months, from December last year to May of this year, when it was uncovered.
Wilson first met Liam on a drunken night out in 2012. The pair shared a taxi home and ended up having sex.
Mr Griffiths then decided he wanted nothing more to do with Wilson, however. Wilson’s obsession led her to stalk him on social media, forcing him to block her and change his telephone number.
But she spotted him on a hospital visit to his dying grandfather. Wilson approached with the toddler in her arms, announcing it was their son.
When Mr Griffiths demanded proof, Wilson later produced a forged a birth certificate and DNA test.
Wilson pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery for faking the birth certificate and the DNA results.
At the time of Wilson’s original sentencing at Bridgend Magistrates’ Court last month, Mr Girffiths was quoted as saying: “"I am devastated and heartbroken to have lost a child that I thought was my son and had bonded with this child.
"We fell in love with him from the start and I am heartbroken to have lost him."
"Everything I see now reminds me of the child and what I have lost,” he added.
"I tried to keep Charmaine on side and changed my lifestyle to keep access with a child that I thought was my son.
"I've given up holiday this summer to work on a home I had planned for me and my son.
"I was in the process of looking for a change of car as I drive a MGF convertible that is not child friendly and I was going to change it for a more family friendly car.
"The only word I can use to describe Charmaine and what she has done is mental and I cannot believe she would deceive me in this way."
Mr Griffiths's mum Catherine Thomas, 54, said at the time: "I feel we have had a family bereavement having lost a child that I honestly thought was my grandson.
"I had bonded with him, fallen in love with and spoilt him rotten."
"Since finding out the truth of the matter and that the baby has another name and that Charmaine had simply borrowed him in passing off as her own has caused me nothing but upset and grief.
"I cannot think of words to say about how awful it is that a human being could deceive another in this way and cause the hurt and upset it has done to our family.
"We have spent an awful lot of money in accepting that he was our flesh and blood and this was given in good faith in us believing he was our grandson."
The court heard Wilson, of Bridgend, told police: "It was a lie that snowballed out of control and I did not know how to stop it."
Steven Jones, defending, said: "She was heartbroken and felt she had lost everything.
"She felt she had a connection with Mr Griffiths and wanted to be with him."