A Tottenham supporting mum allegedly faked cancer to rake in £45,000 from well-wishers which she then spent on foreign holidays, gambling and Premier League football matches.
Nicole Elkabbass is accused of using the ill-gotten gains to splash out on luxury trips abroad and tickets to Tottenham Hotspur, as well as restaurants and “heavy gambling”.
She made the fake claims on a Go Fund Me page.
The page read, ‘Nicole needs our help treatments’ described mother-of-one Elkabbass as a “beautiful daughter” and “loving mum” who was “recently diagnosed”.
It came with a photo showing Elkabbass as frail, laying on her back in a hospital bed under a blanket, eyes closed and mouth open.
But the picture was actually taken after she had an operation to remove her gallbladder, the court heard.
Giving evidence, Elkabbass’s former friend, consultant gynaecologist Nicholas Humphrey Morris, denied her claims that he diagnosed her with cancer.
He told a jury at Canterbury Crown Court, “Well, members of the jury, simply put, these were lies.
“She didn’t use that money for cancer treatment. The money she received was in fact for a variety of things – lots went on gambling, lots went on travel, lots went on Tottenham Hotspur tickets.
In fact, the doctor told the jury it was Elkabbass who informed him she had fallen ill and, on hearing she had set up a crowdfunding page, he explained he recognised the hospital in the photo, by its distinctive bedside wallpaper, as the Spencer Hospital in Margate, Kent, where she had been treated for a separate operation two years prior.
Mr Morris added, “She has never been a patient of mine and she has never been to see me at any hospitals or the clinics I work in.”
The prosecution claims Elkabbass staged the photo and claimed all the donations, would go through Ramsgate’s Jewish Synagogue.
But rabbi Clifford Cohen, who is expected to give evidence later in the trial, claims he has never heard of her, the court heard.