Susan Taylor Channel swim fund's £300,000 donation was hoax

Susan Taylor Susan Taylor's paramedic brother battled to save her life

The family of Susan Taylor, who died attempting to swim the English Channel, have said they were left "disappointed and upset" when a £300,000 donation in her memory proved to be a hoax.

The 34-year-old, from Barwell, Leicestershire, collapsed in the water close to France and died on Sunday.

Since then, donations have flooded in to her chosen charities - Diabetes UK and Rainbows Hospice in Loughborough.

But it has been confirmed the £300,000 was a bogus offering.

About £80,000 has now been donated to the charities.

Start Quote

We do not intend to allow the actions of one person to detract from what Susan has accomplished and the pride we feel for her”

End Quote Susan Taylor's family
Crudely altered

In a statement, Ms Taylor's family said: "Since news of Susan's death the family has been comforted by the extraordinary response from those who knew her and also many more people who didn't but wanted to show their admiration for what Susan had achieved.

"The family were obviously delighted when news of a donation pledge of £300,000 to the two charities was announced.

"Unfortunately, it would appear that this pledge was bogus since the funds have failed to materialise in the charities' accounts.

"Susan's family are disappointed and upset that an individual has taken actions which have misled the family and Susan's chosen charities in this way.

"We do not intend to allow the actions of one person to detract from what Susan has accomplished and the pride we feel for her."

'Not fair on them'

Charity bosses first became suspicious when the donor talked about his celebrity lifestyle and a £100m yacht.

The final realisation came when he sent a screenshot of the supposed bank transfer which had been crudely altered with a computer graphics program.

Scott Lea, spokesman for Rainbows, said it was important not to let the hoax overshadow the other generous donations.

He said the family's first thought was for the person behind the deception and whether they could be suffering from a mental health problem.

"For this [hoax] to come on the back of everything else they are going through it is really not fair on them," he said.

The charity has contacted police but the deception is not thought to be a crime, he said.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Leicester

Weather

Leicester

17 °C 15 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Leonardo da Vinci Self-PortraitMagical masterpiece

    The Leonardo hidden from Hitler in case it gave him special powers


  • Woman smelling pot of herbsWake up

    Is eating sage better for your alertness than coffee?


  • George Foreman and Muhammad AliThe Rumble

    Was this the most compelling sporting event last century? BBC Sport


  • GunGun dilemma

    What if you had a killer product on your hands - literally?


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • EarthWater world

    Are ‘oceans’ hiding inside Earth? BBC Future investigates

Programmes

  • A graphic of an ice tunnel in IcelandThe Travel Show Watch

    A new glacier ice tunnel could be the world’s longest but will tourists fuel its disappearance?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.