Cancer fraudster ordered to pay back £1 after £15,000 deception

A woman who conned a business out of more than £14,000 after claiming to have terminal cancer has been ordered to pay back £1.

Kelsey Whitehead's employers loaned her £5,000 to fund private treatment and gave her almost £10,000 in sick pay.

Whitehead, 38, shaved her hair and inserted a drip into her chest as part of the deception.

She was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence in March after admitting two counts of fraud.

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At a confiscation hearing at Lincoln Crown Court Judge John Pini QC ordered that Whitehead should pay a nominal sum as no assets had been identified.

The court heard that Whitehead, of Lea Road, Gainsborough, told her boss at Hull-based firm Carbon Electric that she had stage four metastatic osteosarcoma that had spread throughout her body.

'Elaborate hoax'

She went on to claim the NHS had refused to pay for her treatment and would only fund palliative care, forcing her to go private.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said Whitehead displayed symptoms she had researched on the internet.

He added Whitehead also shaved off her hair and used make-up to give the impression she was not sleeping at night and would vomit at work.

Whitehead's wife Sophie was so taken in that she gave up her job to care for her.

The hoax came to light in May 2016 after Whitehead took an overdose and was admitted to hospital.

Mr Howes said when her partner informed medics that Whitehead had cancer "they did the checks and there was no record of it".

"This was an elaborate hoax in order to get money that she wasn't entitled to and get a loan she wasn't entitled to," he added.

During a previous sentencing hearing, Whitehead's lawyer claimed in mitigation her client had had a history of lying since she was a teenager which stemmed from abuse she suffered as a child.

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