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Woman Faked Terminal Cancer And Conned Pals Out Of £8,500

Woman Faked Terminal Cancer And Conned Pals Out Of £8,500

She was found out when two friends grew suspicious and confronted her

Claire Reid

Claire Reid

A woman faked having terminal cancer and conned friends out of £8,500 ($11,300) to pay for her dream wedding.

Toni Standen, 29, from West Derby, shaved her head to keep up the pretence and even gave interviews to local media where she said the cancer had spread 'everywhere'.

She told friends she wanted to have her dad Derek - who was genuinely terminally ill - to walk her down the aisle on her big day.

So her kind-hearted pals set up a GoFundMe urging people to donate to give Standen and her partner James 'a wedding they deserve'.

Derek died before the wedding, but a video he had pre-recorded was played at the ceremony.

One guest's suspicions were aroused when Standen was laughing and telling jokes just after the video message was played.

The guest said: "After hearing her father's laboured words she got up and gave a faultless speech, even cracking a few jokes.

"Her mother and brother were in bits. We'd all just listened to a father of the bride message from beyond the grave."

Standen was finally exposed after she claimed to have contracted coronavirus earlier this year and was confronted by her friends.

She has since pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation between February 2019 and April 2020.

Toni and her husband James on their wedding day.

District judge Nicholas Sanders said she committed a 'horrible breach of trust'.

Friend Cheryl Aston, 33, who donated £525, said: "She could have won an Oscar, her acting was that good. She fooled us all. We were all completely sucked in.

"She told me she was dying and I fell for it."

She added: "She said she wanted her dad to walk her down the aisle before either of them died. Everyone pulled together. People didn't have much but they wanted to give what they could.

"I wanted to help so badly but I couldn't afford a lot. I asked her about doing a fundraiser. She said, 'Yeah, yeah, every little helps'."

In July 2017, Standen gave an interview to her local paper where she said she had cancer and in a second interview in March 2019 she said she had been given the 'devastating' news it was terminal.

Her lies caught up with her in April when she posted on social media to say she had Covid-19 and two friends decided to confront her.

One said: "We rang her for a three-way conversation and recorded it. We asked her straight: 'Have you really got cancer?'

"She started crying and admitted it was all lies. We ended the call and phoned the police straight away."

Featured Image Credit: Mirrorpix

Topics: UK News, crime