An English woman fooled authorities into thinking her young son had cancer and gained £100,000 in benefits as a result, a court heard yesterday.
As part of the ruse, the woman tricked the boy himself into thinking he was ill.
The Sun reports that the unnamed mother, a 36-year-old from Berkeley, Gloucestershire, shaved her son's head and eyebrows and made him wear a bandanna to school. The boy and his sister allegedly skipped school activities because they thought they were too sick, according to The Daily Star.
The Daily Mail reports that she forged medical notes from doctors to keep up the illusion. She profited by claiming a carer’s allowance, tax exemptions and disability benefits.
The boy suffered such treatment for three years, beginning when he was four years old. His sister was also falsely believed to have a serious illness from the ages of three to six.
According to Gazette, a local news website, the woman is being charged with two counts of child cruelly and 15 counts of fraud and deception. She will go trial at Gloucester Crown Court on December 2.
The Daily Mail reports that Peter Ashby, the prosecutor in the case, laid out some of the charges against the accused:
"She forged documents not only from doctors but also from the schools and others to support these claims. She informed a large number of schools and medical staff and authorities that her children were substantially ill. She had her son believe he was suffering from cancer. The children were not able to take part in school activities because of the pressure she put them under. This is said to be an organized and prolonged fraud. The overall gain was just under £100,000."