South West Wales

Swansea teacher Samantha Scrine pretended she had cancer

Samantha Scrine Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption The hearing heard that teacher Samantha Scrine had depression

A school teacher pretended she had cancer and gave colleagues a list of songs she wanted played at her funeral, a disciplinary panel has been told.

Science teacher Samantha Scrine, 26, admitted falsely claiming she was dying from a rare form of stomach cancer.

She convinced colleagues at Swansea's Gowerton Comprehensive School for eight months that she had the disease.

She was sacked for "gross misconduct of an unusual and serious nature" last year.

A disciplinary panel of the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) in Cardiff heard how Ms Scrine gave fellow teachers her funeral wish-list, including her favourite songs, a presentation of her life and a credit card to pay for her send-off.

But the hearing was told Ms Scrine did not have cancer but was suffering from depression.

During the deception, Ms Scrine also asked her colleagues to be transplant donors in a last bid to save her life.

The hearing was told that DNA swabs were taken from her workmates pretending she needed to find out if they could donate bone marrow.

False documents were also sent thanking her teaching colleagues for providing the DNA samples.

Ms Scrine claimed she was undergoing radiotherapy and was too ill to teach and her school then arranged for cover at a cost of £5,500.

Presenting officer at the GTCW hearing, Louise Price, said: "She said she had found a lump in her stomach but there was no treatment due to its location and she wasn't sure how much time she had to live.

Text messages

"Miss Scrine said she had arranged radiotherapy for outside class time but she started to miss school due to illness."

The GTCW hearing was told how she backed up her story by sending thousands of text messages pretending to be her own mother.

The school eventually spoke to her family, who confirmed she did not have cancer but was suffering from depression.

Ms Scrine claimed she had "medical anxiety" brought on by stress and genuinely believed she was dying.

She claimed she would go to hospital waiting rooms and take pain medication to cope with her symptoms.

She admits making false statements, obtaining DNA swabs under false pretences and falsifying documents from Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board and she accepts this constitutes unacceptable professional conduct.

She denies acting dishonestly but could be struck off by the disciplinary panel.

The case continues.

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