A carer pictured on Facebook in her wedding dress enjoying what she called the “happiest day of my life” was starting a two-year jail term – after paying almost £4,600 for the big day using a stolen cheque.

Holly Vaughan Owen’s marriage had broken down and her family had turned their backs on her, as had the local community, due to what a judge said was her “greed” when swindling two vulnerable victims. The daughter of one blamed the carer for her mother, who died aged 59, losing her “appetite for life.”

Judge Timothy Petts at Caernarfon crown court said it had been “disgusting behaviour” in exploiting the bank accounts of the two victims.

Prosecutor Ryan Rothwell said Owen had been a carer at two care homes in Anglesey and both victims had now died.

But while looking after former shopkeeper and grandfather John Thomas, 84, who had dementia, she stole his chequebook and wrote a £4,599 cheque. This was discovered after his death.

Mr Rothwell said the cheque had been made out to the Trearddur Bay Hotel, on the island, to pay for 90 per cent of her wedding to Barry Owen.

Jennifer Parry, aged 59, who had multiple sclerosis, became aware that she had been a victim of fraud. There were “numerous” transactions amounting to nearly £8,500 including using a debit card to buy heating oil and hair straighteners.

Mr Rothwell said Mrs Parry, a mother of three and a gran who had studied for a PhD at Bangor university, felt she couldn’t trust her carers after the fraud and her health went “downhill.”

Owen, aged 31, of Gwel Arfon, Gwalchmai, lied to police when quizzed before she eventually owned up to what she had done. She pleaded guilty to theft and fraud by abuse of position.

Naomi Parry, 32, a charity worker, told the judge her mother became a “different person” after the offences were discovered. She had been living at a nursing home at Llanfair PG and the “fiercely independent” victim felt “betrayed, stupid, embarrassed and ashamed.”

The daughter added :”The stress of the incident had a dramatic impact. Mum lost her appetite for life.”

Ffion Tomos, defending, agreed they were “despicable” offences in 2016.

Owen’s barrister said :”Her first words were ‘I don’t want to be forgiven by anyone, I can’t forgive myself’.”

Owen’s marriage had broken down, after a ten-year relationship, and her husband had moved out of the family home.

The barrister said Owen was remorseful and had made a suicide bid.

Judge Petts told Owen :”Many of us will find ourselves with relatives or even ourselves in care homes. What we want from such institutions is they look after us and our families with kindness and with dignity and the people in these situations are safe, physically, mentally and from exploitation.

“In this case you were entrusted with the care of two vulnerable people.”

She’d paid for her wedding reception. “Many people get married each year and many people save hard for their wedding rather than take a shortcut of stealing from a vulnerable victim,” the judge declared.

Owen had stolen more than £13,000. In the case of Mrs Parry she had spent money on going to the cinema, at IKEA, on hair straighteners and heating oil. “You were deliberately targeting the victims on the basis of their vulnerability,” he said.

After the case, Naomi Parry said the family had hoped her mother, from Beaumaris in Anglesey, would come home from the care home but stress had an impact on MS. “She was in the home because her care package had fallen through and only going to be there temporarily. We were sickened when we heard what had happened,” she said.

Paul Thomas, aged 56, son of John Thomas, said the defendant “took advantage of my father’s vulnerability.” He added :”If she had taken the money to feed her children maybe we could have a little sympathy. But she took £4,599 simply to pay for her wedding, to have a lovely day. It was basically greed.”