A CONNIVING mum has been branded the "b***h who stole Christmas" after conning her pals out of cash they thought was being paid into a savings scheme.
Melissa Morgan, 28, took more than £4,000 from two mates to bank with Park Christmas Savings – leaving them to believe they would receive vouchers in time for Christmas.
She took their cash for at least ten months but failed to deposit it meaning devastated Sue Chapman, 46, and Charlene Price, 29, now have no money for gifts.
Mum-of-three Morgan has escaped jail after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation at Warwick Crown Court.
She was originally given a 52 week jail sentence, which was halved and then suspended for a year following an appeal.
Sue and Charlene have now slammed her soft sentence after being left out of pocket in the run-up to Christmas.
Mum-of-two Sue, from Coventry, said: "Christmas has been ruined.
"There is no spirit of Christmas. We save up so that we can spoil our children for Christmas. That's not an option this year.
"Usually I look forward to Christmas shopping, but this year there is none of that.
"How you can do that to your friends, I've got no idea."
Charlene said she has known Melissa for 11 years, and has been giving her money for a Parks account for four years, while Sue has been paying in for three years.
Sue, who cares for her disabled son, reckons she has been paying in £25 a week while Charlene believes she was handing over £75 a week.
She's the b***h that stole Christmas
They made the payments via standing order, and claim she took a total of £1,147 from Sue and £3,078 from Charlene.
The pair were due to withdraw their vouchers for presents in October but were told by Morgan the cash wasn't ready yet.
But after the fraudster blocked them on social media, they called Park and discovered there was no cash in the account.
Sue said: "I don't know how she can do that to her friends.
"She's the b***h that stole Christmas."
Morgan pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation by being a Park Christmas agent taking money from the victims and not paying the victims' money into the account.
She was ordered to do a 25 day rehabilitation requirement and pay a £115 surcharge, but no compensation.
A spokesperson for Park Group said: "Last year, Park helped over 430,000 people successfully save for the festive season.
"Our customers are of the utmost importance to us and we were dismayed to hear of the fraud which took place in this isolated case.
"We cooperated fully with the police to help their investigation and as always we urge all of our customers to make sure they have a signed payment card."
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