A WEDDING dress shop in Newport conned brides-to-be out of nearly £12,000 for “hand-made” white gowns - which were actually stitched up in a factory in China.

Bridal boutique owner Melanie Bishop, of Cefn Cwrt House, Oakdale, and mum Patricia, of The Barn House, Oakdale, tricked 13 brides into thinking they were buying bespoke gowns for their big day, Cardiff Crown Court was told.

The pair, who traded at AnnaSara Bridal in Commercial Street, Newport, had advertised handmade bridal dresses costing up to £1,000, it was said.

In total, the mother, 60, and daughter, 36, jointly pleaded guilty to 14 count of engaging in unfair commercial practice between March 2015 and April 2016, with each pleading guilty to a further two individual charges of engaging in unfair commercial practice.

They could now face jail.

The case followed an investigation by Newport Trading Standards.
The court heard they accepted claiming they had designed and made the dresses themselves, and that they had failed to inform customers the wedding dresses were actually made in China, falsely stating they would be made in their workshop.

The mum and daughter, both of previous good character, also admitted their behaviour was likely to distort the behaviour of the average consumer.

A pre-sentence report will now be prepared for both before sentencing next month on Friday March 9.

Judge Patrick Curran QC granted both defendants unconditional bail but warned them that “all appropriate sentencing options are open”.