Gainsborough: Young mum is spared jail for conning shoppers days after giving birth

Tanita Burton
Tanita Burton

A young mother who stole over £700 by placing false adverts for iPhone’s on the internet was spared jail just days after giving birth.

Tanita Burton, 23, put adverts on Facebook and other internet selling sites, but then pocketed customers cash after failing to send out the devices.

Lincoln Crown Court heard five customers paid out over £750 after seeing adverts placed by Burton for various iPhones.

A sixth customer was defrauded of £15 after paying for a dress which was also advertised online by Burton.

Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said: “All the offences were putting up bogus items for sale on the internet.”

Burton, from Gainsborough, was interviewed by police after she carried out the first three frauds in Spring 2013 but went on to offend again earlier this year, the court was told

Police connected the frauds to Burton after she asked customers to pay cash in to bank accounts linked to people she knew.

Mr Scott told the court one customer became suspicious and asked one of her friends to pose as a buyer to get Burton’s details.

David Eager, mitigating, said Burton had come under pressure to carry out the later frauds after other people realised she knew how to do commit the offences online.

Mr Eager asked for Burton to be “shown mercy” as she was the mother of a 12-day-old baby and already had a two-year-old child.

The court heard Burton had been living with her partner in Gainsborough but was now being supported by her father who was willing to put up the family at his home in the nearby village of Stow.

Burton, 23, formerly of High Street, Gainsborough, admitted six charges of fraud between April 2013 and January this year.

She was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, placed under the supervision of a probation officer for 18 months and ordered to pay compensation of £788.50 to her victims.

She must also obey a six month curfew between 9pm and 8am at her father’s address in Stow Park Road, Stow.

Passing sentence Recorder Richard Swain told Burton sending her to prison would be a punishment for her newborn baby.

Recorder Swain said: “Your situation presents me with a very real dilemma.”

“You appreciate you richly deserve an immediate prison sentence.”