Bogus cancer woman sentenced over two fundraising frauds in Brighton

Posted On 01 Mar 2011 at 1:40 pm

A woman stole thousands of pounds donated to charity after fraudulently holding two fundraising events in Brighton having lied to friends that she had cancer.

Caroline Bull, 37, said that the two events were to raise money for Cancer Research UK but the charity never received a penny from her.

Bull told friends that she was dying of cervical cancer and had just months to live.

Detectives believe that thousands of pounds were raised at a series of fundraising events held over six months on the back of her lies.

She also admitted stealing £8,500 in sick pay from her employer, H & R Healthcare.

At Hove Crown Court today (Tuesday 1 March) Bull, of Amo Mews, Worthing, was sentenced to a community punishment of 200 hours unpaid work.

Detective Constable Leon Ryan, of Sussex Police, said: “People donated money in good faith, moved through compassion for a friend they believed was in pain and suffering.

“Bull’s deception saw no end and she took full advantage of the trust and kindness of her friends and employer, even asking friends to have a tattoo ‘in her memory’.

“It is right and just that Bull be held accountable for her actions and I hope now those affected by her crime can now move on.”

Bull told friends in June 2008 that she was suffering from terminal cervical cancer and had just five months to live.

She claimed that her condition was deteriorating as the months progressed.

After a friend proposed a fundraiser in Brighton, Bull contacted Cancer Research UK to register the event and arranged for collection buckets emblazoned with the charity’s logo to be passed around.

An unknown amount of money was donated, which was never received by the charity.

In November 2008 Bull further deceived friends and colleagues, telling them she was travelling to Ireland for treatment.

Two further fundraisers were arranged in March 2009.

One was a one-day event at a Horsham hairdressers and the second event was held in Brighton.

The Brighton fundraiser involved a catwalk show, fire breathers, a live band, body waxing and a raffle of tickets to London attractions such as Madame Tussauds and the London Eye.

Approximately £4,500 was raised from the two events, most of it in coins and bank notes.

Several other individuals raised or donated large amounts to the cause. No money was ever received by the charity.

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