Caravan owner stole £4,811 from holidaymakers

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A mother-of-three has pleaded guilty to 11 counts of theft after stealing £4,811 from holidaymakers.

Shashi Swann, 39, of Ramshorn Road, Oakamoor, accepted bookings for her caravan in Porthmadog from 11 victims, but would often cancel them the day before the holiday was due to begin.

Swann, who has no previous convictions, gave various excuses for cancelling the bookings, including vandalism and flooding.

She failed to provide customers a refund, directing some of the victims to her insurance company.

Prosecuting, Peter McCartney, said: “She would take deposits for bookings, often by bank transfer and then the holiday would be cancelled for various reasons.”

Joanne Wallbanks, mitigating, told the court: “In early 2016 her mother, who had been helping out with payments had become terminally ill with cancer and was unable to help out financially with the caravan.

“She got into a financial mess and had to care for her mother who passed away last year.

“Having got in a mess she buried her head.”

The caravan owner was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

She was also ordered to pay back £4,811 in compensation, £1,200 in damages and undergo 150 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Paul Glenn told the defendant: “You are 39 and you have a previous good character but these are nasty offences.

“There were 11 victims who paid for this caravan and none of them got to stay there and none received their money back and you fobbed them off with a variety of excuses.

“One victim had a son who had been in hospital after having an operation and the holiday was to celebrate him coming out and you cancelled it.

“Another victim was undergoing treatment for cancer and the last thing she needed was the stress you caused her.”

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