A 29-year-old woman, has been jailed after she tricked her friends to sponsor her dream wedding by faking cancer.
Toni Standen of Widnes, Cheshire, made up a story that she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had just two months to live.
Friends launched a GoFundMe page to help her and her partner James have a ‘wedding they deserve’.
She has been jailed for five months and ordered to to repay a donation of £2,000 made by a local businessman.
The Crown Prosecution Service said that in June 2015 Standen told two of her friends, Ashlea Rowson and Jennifer Douglas, that she had been diagnosed with terminal vaginal cancer.
Ms Standen provided regular updates on her treatment to her friends with such clarity and detail that the condition was never questioned.
She also shaved her head to appear as though she was undergoing treatment and shared pictures of this on social media.
The fraudster later claimed to have two months to live and said her wish was to have her 57-year-old father Derek, who was dying of cancer, walk her down the aisle.
Her friends began fundraising to help fund the wedding which was held after the death of her father at St Bede’s Catholic Church in Widnes.
Her father Derek died before the wedding but a video he recorded was played on the big day.
One 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.
‘Toni even received a video message from Everton FC, delivered by one of the top players. She laughed throughout.’
Eventually she admitted what she had done in a three-way phone call with her friends which they recorded.
In the call she admitted that she did not have cancer and never had.
In a text to friends after she admitted her scam, she said: ‘I love you both, I am thankful for everything over the last couple of years.
‘I am very sorry for all of this, I am embarrassed and heartbroken and right now I am struggling.