A woman pretended to be pregnant to dupe a Tinder date into giving her money, a court heard.
Jaclyn McGowan, 36, from Pirth and Kinross in Scotland, tried to swindle Jamie Aitken out of £300 for a cot after claiming she was carrying his baby.
She continued to lie to Mr Aitken and his life for nine months after the pair had a one-night stand in a hotel in June 2019.
Perth Sheriff Court was told McGowan informed Mr Aitken she was pregnant and planned to keep the baby two weeks after they met. They subsequently agreed to co-parent when the ‘child’ was born.
Fiscal depute Tina Dickie said Mr Aitken told police in August 2019 McGowan sent him a picture of a crib and told him to transfer £300 to pay for it, which he refused to do.
Shortly after, McGowan claimed to be having a miscarriage. Several days later, McGowan told Mr Aitken it had been a false alarm and she was still pregnant.
In September 2019, McGowan sent pictures of a baby scan to Mr Aitken’s mother, Wendy, telling them Mr Aitken would never be a part of his child’s life, but the family were welcome to play a role.
In February 2020, McGowan visited a trampoline park in Dundee where Mr Aitken’s brother Corrie worked. He told his brother that despite McGowan supposedly being eight months’ pregnant, she looked “slim and not pregnant”
She attended the park again several weeks later and appeared to have a large pregnancy bump.
McGowan blocked Mr Aitken from all social media in February 2020 and has had no further contact with him since.
In October 2020, Mr Aitken filed a police report against McGowan, saying her actions had left him feeling low and suicidal.
After being questioned by police, McGowan said after their one-night stand she had taken a pregnancy test, showing her to be pregnant. McGowan had a miscarriage a week later but did not inform Mr Aitken.
She admitted to buying a prosthetic bump to give the appearance of pregnancy while attending the trampoline park and said her actions were to hurt Mr Aitken for the way he had acted when the relationship ended.
McGowan’s solicitor argued that Mr Aitken’s claim he wished to keep the baby “couldn’t be further from the truth”, saying he had made it clear he did not want the child and pressured her to get an abortion.
Sheriff Foulis said: “It seems to me that these actions fall on the less serious category but certainly don’t diminish your actions.
“You pleaded guilty to causing fear and alarm over a period of nine months, so when I say it is on the less serious side, none the less I have to bear that in mind.”
He noted McGowan had not contacted Mr Aitken for nine months before he filed a police report and that the crown was also not seeking a non-harassment order.
She was sentenced to 150 hours of community service after pleading guilty to causing fear and alarm by stalking.