Sunderland mum accused of near-£30k holiday scam appears in court via videolink from Spain

A woman alleged to have orchestrated a near-£30,000 holiday scam has appeared in court via videolink from Spain.

Monday, 22nd August 2016, 2:10 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd August 2016, 4:09 pm

Zoe Barrass, 28, has been charged with orchestrating a £29,588 holiday scam.

Barrass faces 12 counts of fraud by false representation, in relation to as many alleged victims.

It is alleged that she ran a travel agent on Facebook, known as Hello Sunshine, taking money for holidays and flights without bookings being made.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The new mum moved to Spain where she gave birth to a baby in May.

Barrass’ legal team has previously said that she denies the offences, however no plea has been entered

She confirmed she will attend the next hearing, at Newcastle Crown Court, in person, on September 19.

Prosecutor Andrew White said: “It is alleged that she ran a travel agent, known at Hello Sunshine on Facebook, and was taking deposits for holidays and flights but there were no bookings made.”

Jason Smith, defending, said: “There will be no plea at this stage in relation to all matters.”

Unable to fly when she was heavily pregnant, the case was initially adjourned until she had given birth.

Barras, formerly of Marbury Close, Moorside, gave her address as Costalita, Estepona.

Barrass is listed with Companies’ House as a director of First for Holidays Ltd, which has now been dissolved.

She is accused of accepting money in return for booking holidays, which never materialised.

This was in relation to flights and accommodation bookings to Benidorm, Marbella, Thailand, Tunisia, Paris, Florida, Turkey, Brazil and Majorca.

The charges cover a period from July 2013 to January 2015.

She had first been due to appear at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court in May.