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Bride and gloom Woman jailed for wedding fundraiser after lying about terminal cancer diagnosis

She provided regular updates on her treatment to her friends with such clarity and detail that the condition was never questioned.


Stock photo

Stock photo

Stock photo

A Liverpool woman who claimed she was dying of cancer so her friends would contribute thousands of pounds to the cost of her dream wedding has been jailed. 

Toni Standen (29) originally from West Derby, invented a story that ovarian cancer had spread to other parts of her body and that she had received a terminal diagnosis.

Friends even launched a GoFundMe page so she could have the wedding she 'deserved' following the terminal diagnosis.

Standen, now of Widnes, later pleaded guilty to fraud, and has been jailed for five months at Chester Magistrates' Court.

She has also been ordered to repay a donation of £2,000 (€2,201) made by a local businessman.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that in June 2015, Standen told two of her friends, Ashlea Rowson and Jennifer Douglas, that she had been diagnosed with terminal vaginal cancer.

She provided regular updates on her treatment to her friends with such clarity and detail that the condition was never questioned.


(stock photo)

(stock photo)

(stock photo)

She shared pictures on social media after having shaved her head to appear as though she was undergoing treatment.

Standen raised £8,344 (€9,183) via the crowdfunding page and through gifts including flowers and cars for the wedding.

Her friends began fundraising to help fund the wedding - which was held after the death of her father - at St Bede's Catholic Church in Widnes.

Her father Derek died before the wedding but a video he recorded was played on the big day.

One guest said: "After hearing her father's laboured words she got up and gave a faultless speech, even cracking a few jokes.

"Her mother and brother were in bits. We'd all just listened to a father of the bride message from beyond the grave.

"Toni even received a video message from Everton FC, delivered by one of the top players. She laughed throughout.

Suspicion grew surrounding Standen's condition after the wedding.

Eventually she admitted what she had done in a three-way phone call with her friends which they recorded.

In the call she admitted that she did not have cancer and never had.

Passing sentence, District Judge Nicholas Sanders told her: "You continued to embellish that tissue of lies, saying you had weeks to live. 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."

He said that the money raised "through the generosity of strangers" was used to to fund the wedding and a holiday.

The judge also ordered Standen, of Lockett Road, to repay a £2,000 (€2,201) donation.

"Every right-thinking member of society would be appalled by your behaviour," he added.

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Online Editors