Toni Standen convinced friends into thinking she was going to die from cancer has been given a prison sentence after it turned out to be a pack of lies.
Standen, 29, appeared so genuine that a businessman donated £2,000 for a fundraiser that was set up to pay for her wedding.
As well as being jailed for five months she has been ordered to pay that money back to those who donated.
The fake cancer sufferer told two of her closest friends Angela Rowson and Jennifer Douglass that she had ovarian cancer and that it had spread to other parts of her body in June 2015.
Standen, from Widnes, Cheshire, gave regular updates on treatments she was receiving on social media and even shaved her hair off as part of the scam that cost her friends and family £8,344.
Her ‘cancer suffering plight’ was published in local media as well as across Social media, leading to further offers of flowers and cars for her wedding to partner James.
Meanwhile, she used the plight of her father Derek – who was actually dying of cancer – to further tug at people’s heartstrings.
Her father died before the wedding but a video he recorded was played on the day.
The fake even received a video message from Everton FC, delivered by one of the players.
Former friends also revealed that much funds raised were spent on trips to Spain’s Benalmadena on the Costa del Sol where she could get away from the pretense, just relying upon further incoming funds.
Annie Jarvis told Global247news how he would see Standen dancing and acting normal in the Las Arenas hotel on Benalmadena seafront, ” She was often in the hotel, dancing and drinking when she was asked if she was unwell she said it wasn’t serious but had Alopecia but it wasn’t anything to be concerned about, she looked like a cancer sufferer from the first appearance but the constant dancing and drinking gave no concern really, she clearly didn’t have cancer that’s for sure, although she never said she did whilst here”
It’s reported by another former friend she took trips to Benidorm to perform the same stunt of pretending to have cancer, where guests at hotels felt sympathy for her and one even held a raffle on her behalf.
On sentencing Judge Sanders told her: ‘You continued to embellish that tissue of lies, saying you had weeks to live. I don’t accept you couldn’t stop. Not only did you not stop, but you also made it worse by giving newspaper interviews to engender public sympathy. ‘You used that money raised through the generosity of strangers to fund a wedding and a holiday. You kept taking money over many months. Every right-thinking member of society would be appalled by your behaviour.’
Costa del Sol based Dr. Rupert Hayman, after the sentencing, told how he was outraged by the scam but revealed it’s not the first time he’s seen such a scam, ” It’s shocking behaviour – although it’s not the first time people have used Social media to make fake cancer claims, there is one woman here who has claimed across Social media death was within weeks, that was 5 years ago, It’s a mental issue as they crave both attention as well as the money”
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