A WOMAN whose fiance stole their wedding day fund has issued a warning to others as new figures show fraud is rising.
Emma Colley, 30, discovered her husband-to-be was leading a double life and had taken almost £6,000 from her, including money she had saved especially for her big day.
Just weeks before Emma and her fiance Luke McRoy, 30, of Main Road, Higham, were due to tie the knot, her dreams were in tatters after discovering her bank card had been used to withdraw money from cash machines in the area.
She said: “I was a nervous wreck. I felt like someone was looking over my shoulder.
“I never suspected Luke. He was going out every day dressed in his suit to work like everything was normal. I’ve no idea where he had really been going.”
The truth eventually came out after the couple’s local pub landlady caught Luke using Emma’s card.
After searching the house Emma found receipts and letters, which proved Luke had taken and spent her money.
She added: “I found an envelope, which should have had card for our wedding account. Horrified, I realised it was gone.”
Emma handed the evidence to the police and Luke was arrested a few weeks later.
He confessed everything, saying he had lost his job several months earlier and owed money to debtors.
He appeared in court last July, pleading guilty to charges of false representation and one theft charge.
He was given an 18-month suspended sentence and 250 hours of community service.
But latest Home Office figures show Emma is not alone and fraud and forgery is rising in Derbyshire.
The crime went up by 6 per cent with 2,175 victims from September 2010 to September 2011.
Emma said: “Since this happened to me several people have said similar things have happened to them. One friend said it happened to her daughter but she was married at the time. I’d warn others although I’d say it’s difficult to spot the signals.”