Did Victoria Jones want revenge,
or did she not want to let go?
The moral of this deceptive story: To make your victim believe a lie, be detailed, and persist.
Victoria and Daniel, a young couple in Wales, were in love.
But love sours.
After 16 months, Daniel Barberini ended the relationship. He said Victoria was possessive and jealous and he was in his early 20s and not ready to settle down.
Victoria called him and sent him texts saying she wanted him back.
Then, out of spite, or revenge, or maybe a need to continue some sort of relationship, she told him a lie that’s been used many times in history:
At first, he didn’t believe her. Then she sent him an ultrasound picture:
"I’m carrying twins."
He was still unsure. He tried to meet with her, but whenever they tried to arrange a meeting, someone was busy. Finally she told him she was moving to New York.
He still thought she was lying. (In fact, she was lying. She had never left Wales.)
She kept in touch via email. And within the appropriate timeframe, she said she’d given birth to their twins, a girl she named Keira and a boy she named Harrison.
She told him that Harrison was ill with Down’s Syndrome.
He tried to talk with her on the phone, but she kept the talks brief because she was busy caring for the children.
Daniel thought it all very unreal:
‘I didn’t know what to make of it. It couldn’t be true, but then who would make up such a thing?"
Just before Christmas, she told him that Harrison died.
Daniel was a student and couldn’t get to the "funeral" to get to the bottom of the deception. He still did not believe her.
Then Victoria began sending him regular updates and photos of his daughter Keira.
‘Kei is sleeping right through now. She’s growing up so quickly. She was born premature and yet she’s fit and healthy and doing sooo well. I’m so proud!!!!’
She and Keira were now living in Sydney, Australia, and they were soon flying to London. Could Daniel meet them?
His "daughter" was now 16 months old.
He believed her:
"Finally, I was going to hold my daughter… I got more excited as the day approached. I booked time off work and bought toys for Keira."
Daniel was visiting a friend when he showed her a photo of his daughter.
His friend told him that the photo was not a photo of his daughter. The photo was of a girl named Aliyah. His friend introduced him to the girl’s real mother, Sarah Jenson.
‘I was stunned… I could not believe it. When it sank in that Keira did not exist, that the whole thing was a fantasy, I burst into tears."
Victoria had stolen all of the photos of her fake daughter from Sarah Jenson’s real daughter on her Facebook page.
‘Looking back, I ask myself how I fell for it. For some time, I did doubt Victoria’s story, but she carried the deception on for so long and went into so much detail, right down to my daughter’s shoe size, that I began to believe her. You ask yourself: "Could anyone really be so wicked? Do something so insane?" I was devastated when I learned the truth. I believed I was the father of this lovely little girl and when I found out she didn’t exist it was a sort of bereavement.’
Ms. Jenson was worried that Victoria Jones might harm her real daughter Aliyah, so she went to police. They determined there was no crime.
So Ms. Jenson began a Facebook petition against Victoria Jones, and Ms. Jones was forced to resign from her job. She was a teacher at a primary school’s nursery.
A disciplinary committee told her that she had exhibited "unacceptable professional conduct."
– The child who never was. It was an outlandish deception – a teacher convincing her ex he was the father of her child for two years, using internet photos of another woman’s daughter. So how DID he fall for it? Daily Mail, UK>>
– Newport teacher in Facebook baby pictures ‘hoax’ – Victoria Jones Victoria Jones took 82 photographs of another woman’s baby from Facebook. A teacher duped her ex-boyfriend into believing they had a child together after she stole baby photographs from Facebook, a disciplinary hearing was told. BBC News, South East Wales>>