A woman who shaved her head to deceitfully convince her friends she had cancer so they would pay for her £8,500 dream wedding has been sentenced to 5 months in jail today. Toni Standen, 29, from Widnes, Cheshire, fabricated a story of being diagnosed with terminal cancer while saying she had only two months to live. This brought her friends together to set up a GoFundMe page to help her and her partner have the "wedding they deserve."
It was in June 2015 when Standen told two of her friends that she had been diagnosed with terminal vaginal cancer. She also provided them with regular updates on her treatment with such convincing details that her friends never questioned her condition.
Standen went all the way and shaved her head to appear as though she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment and even shared pictures of herself on social media. Her friends began fund raising after learning from her that she had only two months to live and that her wish was to have her cancer stricken father walk her down the aisle. Her father died before the wedding took place but he was able to record a video for her that was played on her wedding day.
Her friends managed to raise £8,500 on GoFundMe and made her dream wedding come true. She and her new husband then flew off to their honeymoon in Turkey and also went on a holiday in March touring Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic and Italy, the Daily Mail reported.
Meanwhile, suspicions grew surrounding her condition after the wedding. Standen eventually admitted what she had done over a three-way conference call with her friends which they recorded.
In a text she sent to her friends after she admitted her scam, she said:
"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."
During her sentencing, Judge Sanders said:
"I don't accept you couldn't stop. Not only did you not stop, you made it worse by giving newspaper interviews to engender public sympathy."
Standen will be spending her Christmas and several more months behind bars after the judge described her case as a sophisticated fraud that was carried on for years because the accused kept digging a hole for herself.