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A British bride who faked terminal cancer to raise $11,000 for her dream wedding was sentenced this week to five months in prison.
“Every right-thinking member of society would be appalled by your behavior,” District Judge Nicholas Sanders told Toni Standen, 29, as he sentenced her Tuesday in Chester Magistrates’ Court, according to The Sun.
“Thankfully it’s not often this court has to sentence someone who has shown such a degree of shamelessness, such greed, or such a betrayal of friendship as you did to your friends and the wider community,” the judge told her.
“Such was your lack of shame that you kept taking money from them over many, many months,” he told Standen, who was also ordered to pay back a local businessman almost $2,700 that he had donated.
Starting in July 2017, Standen had claimed to have just two months to live, saying of her pretend cancer, “It’s gone to my brain, my bones – it’s everywhere.”
She shaved her head, updated friends with such “clarity and detail” they didn’t doubt her, and even gave interviews to two newspapers, according to the Liverpool Echo, one of the papers she tricked.
Friends launched a GoFundMe page to give the couple “a wedding they deserve,” with Standen accepting more than $11,000 for her big day as well as a honeymoon in Turkey, Chester Magistrates’ Court was told.
Her “unassuming” 52-year-old husband, James, was among those duped when they finally wed last summer at a Catholic church in Widnes, according to The Sun.
Pals finally became suspicious this year after Standen inexplicably defied her ‘condition’ to travel around Europe, and then claimed to have COVID-19, according to The Sun.
Two friends confronted her during a three-way phone call — during which Standen admitted it was “all lies,” the reports said.
“I am embarrassed and heartbroken and right now I am struggling,” she texted the friends, according to the Echo.
“At the minute I don’t know if Jim and I will be getting a divorce, I don’t blame him if he does and I don’t blame you both if this is the end,” she said, seemingly confirming her husband had been unaware of the scam.
Her husband supported her at court when she finally admitted she was a liar, The Mirror noted.
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