A ‘SELFISH’ woman has been disowned by the family she ‘tore apart’ after she carried out credit card frauds against her own mum and daughter.

Debt-ridden and shunned, Zoe Hayes sobbed in the dock as she was given a suspended jail sentence at Worcester Crown Court on Friday.

The 47-year-old of Diglis Dock Road, Diglis, Worcester, took out two credit cards in her daughter’s name and went on shopping sprees, maxing them out after doing exactly the same thing to her own mother 10 years ago.

The defendant’s daughter, Sophie Hemmingway, said she would ‘never forgive’ her mother for what she had done and does not want her in her life, believing she will do the same thing again given the chance.

Mrs Hemmingway, 23, of Worcester, watched her mother spared jail from the public gallery.

“She has torn the family apart. None of the family are speaking to her,” said Mrs Hemmingway after the court hearing.

Mrs Hemmingway, who married last July, said: “She isn’t going to be part of my life and that’s it. I don’t feel anything towards her. I look at her as if she’s a stranger. She will continue to do this. I hope she never does it to my sisters. I would rather she had gone to prison.”

She said after she did not understand how her mother was still the treasurer of a charity.

Hayes is listed on a Facebook page for Worcester Community Trust as a member of the JOY Project and had recently volunteered at Latimer Court Care Home in Worcester ‘to help cheer up the residents in lockdown.’

We approached Worcester Community Trust to see whether she is still involved with the organisation. A spokesman said: “We are aware of the case, however we are not able to comment on individuals due to confidentiality.”

The mother-of-four had already admitted two counts of fraud by false representation when she appeared for sentence. Details of the previous conviction against her mother in 2009 were not detailed in open court.

However, the defendant’s daughter, who is in touch with her grandmother, said they involved a sum of £10,000 which her nan had to pay off herself.

Amiee Parkes, prosecuting, said the defendant had been staying with her daughter in Manchester on December 21 and 22 last year and she planned to go shopping at the Trafford Centre with her sisters.

Miss Parkes said this ‘did not sit right’ with Mrs Hemmingway as she knew her mum did not have the money and had struggled with debt for a long time.

Checking her mother’s purse she found two credit cards in one of the pockets taken out in Mrs Hemmingway’s maiden name. She confronted her mother who was described as ‘placid about the situation’, telling her daughter ‘she would sort it out and didn’t want to talk about it’.

Mrs Hemmingway assumed her mother would pay them off but the cards continued to be used after she said she had cut them up.

“She said she was sorry for taking the cards out and knew she shouldn’t have done it but was in a bad mental state and that’s why she had done it,” said Miss Parkes.

Mrs Hemmingway’s credit score went down by 65 points as a result of her mum’s actions at a time when she was house hunting in Worcester. When her mum was further challenged she hung up the phone. Her daughter said: “I don’t think my mum will pay the money back. I’m concerned she will do something similar to my sisters.”

The defendant was arrested on May 17 at her home address and a search was conducted and both cards were found in her purse. The bill on one was £1,574 (Capital One card) and £1,277 on the other (Aqua Card) although the defendant had paid off £206 on that card.

The bank has met the cost so there is no loss to Mrs Hemmingway. The defendant made full and frank admissions in interview.

Michael Anning, defending, said: “She has understandably been disowned by all branches of her family. She did plead guilty at the first opportunity and made admissions in interview.”

Hayes had told the probation officer who prepared the pre-sentence report: “I’m really sorry. If I could turn back time I would.”

Mr Anning invited the judge to treat this remorse as ‘genuine’ and said his client was ‘in extreme financial hardship’ and was in substantial rent arrears.

Judge Jim Tindal said: “There’s something particularly painful about breaches of trust within the family. Everyone struggles financially from time to time but not everyone steals from their own in the way you have now done twice.”

Judge Tindal said that although Mrs Hemmingway had not suffered financial harm she had suffered damage to her credit rating ‘and, perhaps much more importantly, the damage to her trust’.

“It’s clear, as was the case with your offences against your mother, when you get yourself in financial difficulty you tend to think only of yourself and not of those around you” said the judge.

He told her, rather than asking her family or those around her for help, in her ‘desperation’ she took advantage of them. It was this breach of trust that he said meant the case crossed the custody threshold.

Judge Tindal told her as she cried in court: “You’re upset. Frankly I hope you’re upset through a sense of shame rather than through a sense of self pity.”

The judge sentenced her to nine months in prison suspended for two years and ordered her to complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He also made a restraining order for 12 months which prohibits Hayes having any contact, directly or indirectly, with her daughter. “Your daughter does not want to talk to you. That may change in time. It may not” said the judge.

No order was made for costs or compensation.

After the hearing Mrs Hemmingway said: “I will never forgive her. They say she is remorseful but she was still trying to take money off me three months after her arrest.”