Mother 'faked a brain tumour to cheat well-wishers out of hundreds of pounds'By Andy Dolan
Last updated at 1:54 AM on 6th December 2010
Terri Edkins: 'Shaved her hair off and wore a headscarf to mimic the appearance of a real cancer sufferer'
A mother who claimed to be fatally ill with a brain tumour, bone cancer and leukaemia is accused of inventing her condition to con well-wishers out of hundreds of pounds.
Terri Edkins, 23, allegedly shaved her hair off and wore a headscarf to mimic the appearance of a real cancer sufferer as she told her three young children, friends and family that she had only six months to live.
Her 24-year-old husband Lawrence was among those who were taken in by her alleged scam, and arranged fundraising events to pay for revolutionary £25,000 treatment in the U.S. that Edkins said she needed.
The couple brought their wedding day forward to October last year after the bride claimed she had been diagnosed with a brain tumour and bone cancer that summer.
Soon afterwards, she claimed to have been diagnosed with leukaemia as well.
But she has now been charged with three counts of fraud, and is known to have raised at least £1,380 at fundraising events including a charity football match and a head shave of her father-in-law.
Speaking in June about the football match – which was arranged by her husband and raised £580 – Edkins, of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, said: ‘All I want is more time with my children and my husband.
‘If I wasn’t married or had children then I’m certain I would have just given up by now. But they said six months nearly a year ago and I’m still here, so every day is a real bonus. And I’m really glad that the children are still too young to understand what’s happening. That also keeps me going.’
Fake: Mrs Edkins brought forward her wedding to husband Lawrence. She wore a headscarf on her wedding day in October 2009
Her stepfather-in-law, Paul Gibbs, had his long hair shorn off the previous month, raising another £800.
Before her appearance in court on Friday was adjourned because of snow, Edkins used her Facebook page to announce that she was pregnant with her fourth child. Her other children are four, two and one. A friend replied: ‘Thought it was impossible with how ill you’ve been? Huge congrats anyway!’
But once news of the charges against her emerged, the couple began receiving threats.
Betrayed: Mr Edkins used to wait outside the hospital when his wife was supposedly having chemotherapy. He is now said to be considering leaving her
Last night, her mother-in-law Susan Gibbs, 61, said: ‘We could not believe it. Loads of people have helped her. Now we’ve had to go around them all telling them what has happened.’
She said her son would wait for Edkins outside the hospital when she supposedly had chemotherapy. Mrs Gibbs added: ‘Lawrence knew nothing about this. He’s shocked and angry. She had him running round like a headless chicken.’
He remains with Edkins but is said to be considering leaving her.
Edkins will appear at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court next month on charges relating only to St John’s Ambulance, Tesco, who donated shirts to the football, and Gainsborough Lions club. She is accused of defrauding them of £175.78.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1335847/Mother-Terri-Edkins-said-terminally-ill-cash-faces-fraud-charges.html#ixzz17JdTkum3