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Mum who faked terminal cancer to con well-wishers into donating spared jail

A mum who told people she had terminal cancer and raised tens of thousands of pounds via a fake fundraiser was spared jail.

Megan Scotcher, 28, was handed a 10-month suspended sentence for lying about her condition and taking money from friends and relatives.

She was also ordered to carry out 100h of unpaid work and must pay back £1 from her gains as she has no money or assets.

Nottingham Crown Court heard Scotcher's crowdfunder raised a whopping £22k, aided by publicity in the Derby Telegraph and The Sun.

Her sentencing hearing corrected that figure to £16k, with one person even taking part in a 1,000km cycle to sponsor Scotcher's effort, DerbyshireLive reports.

Judge Steven Coupland said: "You lied about having terminal cancer to steal charitable donations.

"You told a terrible lie to your family and friends.

"They are the headlines, but I have read a lot about you.

"What you did was serious and caused a great deal of upset to family, friends and people who generously contributed and who feel taken advantage of.

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"The probation service assesses you as somebody who presents a low risk of reoffending and I agree with that."

Scotcher had cancer as a youngster, but it went into remission and she recovered.

Last year, Scotcher told friends and family it had returned – and was terminal.

One mum, a friend of hers and a member of her sons' school community, even raised £2.3k.

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Scotcher even lied to her own mum, the prosecuting lawyer explained.

Gurdial Singh said: "In October of last year, the defendant told her mother she had a mass on her brain and would only live until January.

"But her mother became suspicious as her daughter made her wait outside hospital appointments she had taken to saying she could not come in because of Covid-19.

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"The mother then tried to contact an oncologist but one didn't exist."

Scotcher who had no previous convictions pleaded guilty to fraud.

She said she was raising the money to pay back an ex-partner.

Mitigating, James Horne said Scotcher was driven by desperation rather than deviousness.

He said: "This case is both shocking and tragic in equal measure (but) her behaviour can be properly categorised as sad rather than bad.

"Her real criminal mistake was not telling the truth when it came out. That's the reality."

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