A COUPLE were jailed for defrauding their teenage children out of £60,000 of inheritance.

Sarah Harris, 38 and Bryan McNaught, 46, formerly of Lakeside, Redbrook, were each sentenced to 15 months after using the money to pay off debts and buy items such as a motorbike.

They had previously been sentenced for swindling £1 million out of credit card companies, banks and mortgage lenders by claiming to be barristers and football agents.

The couple appeared at Newport Crown Court yesterday, where Judge David Morris lifted reporting restrictions on naming them after an appeal by the Argus.

These had been applied earlier this year when the couple stood trial for two counts of fraud and one count of converting criminal property to protect their children, aged 17 and 15.

Prosecutor Lee Reynolds said the charges are "intertwined" with other fraud offences, for which McNaught is nearing the end of a prison term.

In March 2011, McNaught was sentenced to 36 months in prison and Harris to 52 weeks suspended for 24 months, after admitting a catalogue of fraud offences over six years, amounting to £1,063,933.

These included fraudulently re-mortgaging an £180,000 home in Caerleon and gaining a £300,000 mortgage after Harris said she owned a stake in an international soccer development.

In the midst of this offending, Harris’ dad was diagnosed with a terminal illness in November 2009 and left £60,000 each to Harris and her two brothers.

However, the court heard how she visited him and convinced him to instead give £30,000 to each of her children instead.

Judge Morris said: "It was for your benefit, you were in severe financial trouble, with creditors chasing you and under investigation for mortgage fraud."

He added:"You quite deliberately disipated the children’s inheritance to pay your debts, continue the family lifestyle for your own pleasurable benefit- the motorbike is one illustration."

While Judge Morris said the couple "cajoled" the children into giving them the money, David Brock, defending McNaught said they held their parents "dear to their heart" and were happy for them to have the money.

Defending Harris, Heath Edwards said: "She cherishes her two children and they cherish her."

But, Judge Morris called it a "carefully planned fraud" and for each of three offences gave the defendants 15 months in prison of which they must serve half.

He said if it wasn’t for the fact the children are reaching a critical stage in their education, the sentence could have been longer.