Charmaine Wilson, a 25-year-old nurse from Bridgend, South Wales, was charged with fraud last month when her beau found out that the toddler she said had been conceived during their one-night stand was actually a kid she had been "borrowing" from a friend for the last six months.
Wilson met Liam Griffiths, her faux baby daddy, in 2012, when they had some kind of drunken one-night stand. Griffiths said he made it clear that he wasn't interested in doing it again, but Wilson was apparently hung up on him and proceeded to stalk him on social media. Griffiths said he blocked her and changed his number.
So when Wilson ran into him at the hospital where she worked (Griffiths was reportedly there to visit his dying grandfather), she "borrowed" a toddler from her friend and told Griffiths that it was his. When he demanded proof, Wilson used her position as a nurse to create a fraudulent birth certificate and forge a DNA test.
I'm going to pause here, because there are some really puzzling components to the story already:
- Did the parent willingly lend out their toddler for this elaborate con? Maybe it seemed like a harmless joke at first, but what kind of person is like, "Yeah, borrow my kid for a few months or whatever and let me know how it goes with that guy you're trying to get back together with!"
- How long did Wilson think this con was going to last? It's one thing to convince Griffiths that the baby is his, but do you then have to keep that charade up for the rest of your life together? Do you have to enroll the kid in school and raise him? If so, it's not really "borrowing" the kid so much as "taking it forever."
- Speaking of which, is it really that easy to forge birth certificates in the UK?
- What the fuck is wrong with people?
I don't want to give Men's Rights Activists any more reason to crow about how all women are crazy, but I will say that Wilson isn't the only person who's done this kind of thing: In September, a woman named Catherine Goins tried to pull off a similar ruse by faking pregnancy to make her boyfriend stay with her. When he found out that she wasn't actually pregnant, she murdered another woman so that she could steal her baby and pretend it was hers.
There was another case in April, where a woman named Grisel Ramirez kidnapped a newborn from a hospital in an attempt to get back with her estranged husband. And in 2012, a woman named Annette Morales-Rodriguez stabbed a pregnant woman with an X-Acto knife in an attempt to "cut the fetus out" and steal it. I'm not sure why she wanted the fetus rather than a baby that had already been birthed, but it had something to do with her wanting to give her boyfriend a baby after previously having two miscarriages. (It also probably had something to do with her being pretty darn disturbed.)
Anyway, back to the story: When Wilson told Griffiths that he had knocked her up, he seemed to take it in stride. He and his parents reportedly welcomed Wilson into the family and showered her with gifts, including a car. It's not totally clear what the status of their relationship was at this time, but Griffiths was building a small house "on the grounds of the family home," according to the Telegraph, so it looks like they were trying to scrape things together and be a little family. This went on for six months.
Then, when Griffiths posted a photo of him and his "son" on Facebook, someone recognized the kid and told Griffiths that there was no way he could be the father.
When the case was presented at the Bridgend Magistrates' Court, the judge ruled that "the discovery of the child's real identity has left [Griffiths and his family] with a feeling of loss similar to bereavement." Some examples of this included the fact that Griffiths had sacrificed his summer vacation to build a new house for his new family, and had planned to sell his MGF convertible as it wasn't "child friendly." Griffiths's parents also stated that they had "spent an awful lot of money in accepting that he was our flesh and blood."
Wilson was sentenced to four months in jail on two counts of fraud, but she was let out early yesterday—after only 23 days—on the condition that she take a course on "thinking skills." Griffiths and his family have now placed a restraining order against Wilson.
In Wilson's defense, her attorney argued "she felt she had a connection with Mr. Griffiths and wanted to be with him"—which seems like a pretty thin excuse for lying to someone for months. It's unclear why the toddler's real parents gave the kid up to this woman for six months, but the child is likely back with them now, or at least until one of their other friends asks to borrow it.
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