Mum, 42, Who Faked Cancer And Stole £45,000 Of Donations Is Jailed
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A mum who faked cancer, taking £45,000 in donations and using it to fund her lavish lifestyle, has been jailed.
Nicole Elkabbas, from Broadstairs, Kent, had claimed she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and desperately needed the money for life-saving treatment.
However, it eventually transpired that she had been using the money raised by well-wishers to pay for her holidays away and settle her mounting debts.
The GoFundMe page, which was set up in 2018, was shared from the perspective of Elkabbas' mother, for whom she is a carer, and described her as a 'beautiful daughter' and 'loving mum to her 11-year-old son'.
But in November last year, she was found guilty of fraud.
She was also found guilty of one count of possession of criminal property in relation to the donations she had transferred to her bank account.
At a further hearing at Canterbury Crown Court, the 42-year-old was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison.
At the time of the guilty verdict, Judge Mark Weekes told Elkabbas: "You have been convicted on what I regard as compelling evidence on both counts.
"As far as the guidelines are concerned, there will be a custodial sentence."
During the court case, the prosecution showed a photograph of Elkabbas 'apparently stricken and in her hospital bed looking very poorly indeed', which had been used for the GoFund Me Page.
This, it was shown, had been taken following a previous operation to remove her gallbladder, and had been paid for by private medical insurance and had nothing to do with cancer.
Instead, the mother used the thousands she had taken to pay for six holidays to Spain, though she denied they were 'tourist trips'.
Elkabbas claimed she had been making the trips to see a specialist clinic with regards to surgery that cost 40,000 euros.
She also said she had paid a further 13,700 euros a month on a cycle of drug treatment.
However, Judge Weekes said: "There was no paperwork for procedures in Spain or medical records to prove this."
Prosecutor Ben Irwin had said Elkabbas' actions were 'utterly dishonest', and that she had duped people into donating money.
"It was a scheme designed to trick and to con and she knew it," Irwin said.
"So she lied about the major surgery, lied about six cycles of chemotherapy, lied about this wonder-drug - the breakthrough drug.
"She tricked people who gave her money and then she frittered it away."