Ripley woman Teresa Clay faked cancer to pocket cash from concerned colleagues
A CONWOMAN lied to her colleagues, claiming she was suffering from cancer and kidney failure, in order to pocket cash they raised to support her.
Teresa Clay took sick leave on full pay from her job at Storm DFX, in Alfreton, by faking a string of illnesses including throat cancer.
Colleagues held fund-raising drives to support her and one workmate handed her £300 after a 10-mile sponsored run.
The 42-year-old fraudster, from Ripley, needed the cash because she was in debt.
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"She was paid £3,618 she wasn't entitled to. It's a tale of deceit that's really quite awful," prosecutor Mike Treharne told magistrates in Chesterfield.
Clay began working at Storm DFX, on Nix Hill industrial estate, last August.
She complained of a sore throat after a few weeks and then told her employers she had been diagnosed with throat cancer.
Clay then went down to working only mornings, telling bosses she was undergoing radiotherapy treatment.
Mr Treharne told the court: "She then said doctors had found a second cancer in her throat and she needed chemotherapy.
"By November she said she could only take liquid food."
Clay went on to claim she had to move to her parents' home following a house fire.
She also said acid had been thrown over her car and the vehicle had blown up.
Mr Treharne said: "Her employers were very concerned for her welfare.
"They hired a car for her for four weeks."
In March, Clay told work she had undergone a throat operation. The following month she claimed her one remaining kidney was malfunctioning and she could not afford a dialysis machine.
All these claims were lies.
Work colleagues took it upon themselves to raise cash to help her.
The scam came to light after Clay quit her job to work for National Grid.
Clay, of Honeyfield Drive, admitted fraud between last August 15 and May 22 by making false claims that she was terminally ill. She had no previous convictions.
Magistrates said she had told "lie after lie" and imposed a six-month jail term – suspended for one year.
They ordered her to do 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £3,618 compensation to Storm DFX and £300 to Jodie Stuart, with £85 costs.
Stacey White, for Clay, said she did not accept all the allegations but it did admit it was "a fairly despicable offence".
Ms White said Clay's debts had "spiralled out of control".
"She regrets her actions every day," she said.
"She feels embarrassed and ashamed. She hasn't told her family about it."
Probation officer Julia Gillott said Clay was on medication for depression.
She lived with her teenage son and worked as a full-time receptionist for National Grid in Blackwell.