Woman faked having cancer for cash

2:38 pm on 17 March 2016

A woman who tricked people into thinking she had terminal cancer for money has been sentenced to community detention today.

The woman - who cannot be named - has been sentenced after months of delays at the Auckland District Court.

The community detention is for three months with a curfew between 7pm and 7am, while she will also face intensive supervision for 18 months.

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More than two years ago she told people she had only months to live, but she was faking her illness.

Over the next eight months goods, services and money were given by friends, family and numerous strangers.

She managed to raise more than $13,600 with the help of the website Givealittle.

Money was also raised on Trademe, while Harvey Norman gave her several appliances worth over $4400.

The 24-year-old earlier admitted five charges of obtaining by deception.

In total she obtained more than $26,600 worth of goods and money.

One of the services duped, The Angel Project, said in a victim impact statement it was appalled by the woman's actions.

It said it cannot believe someone would stoop so low, when there were genuine people fighting for their lives.

Honda, which gave a CRZ car to be auctioned, said it was also appalled and felt for the people the woman deceived.

Givealittle website said it was important she was punished.

Spark Foundation runs the site and its general manager Lynne Le Gros said the deception took up significant resources.

"We were very distressed when we first learnt about this situation and distressed on behalf of all those who had given in good faith because they generally believed this to be a dire situation and many of them, we believe, were very close to the accused."

The court also heard a person paid $7000 in a Trademe auction for a music performance by a well-known New Zealander.

The musician pulled out when they became aware of fake claims.

In court today the woman, who has never been diagnosed with cancer, wept in the dock as she was being sentenced.

Judge Claire Ryan told her that her actions had affected a number of people, including those who might really have cancer.

She told the woman she knew what was happening, but she took all the money given to her and spent it.

Judge Ryan said there was nothing left from the goods and money the woman obtained.

The woman had said she messed up and things got out of hand, and that she did not mean to hurt anyone.

She also told police she never meant to take things as far as she did.

Judge Ryan said the woman has what was known as factitious disorder, which drove her to fake her symptoms.

She had previously been admitted to hospitals several dozen times, however no physical abnormalities were found, the court was told.

The woman was last year diagnosed with a major depression disorder.

She has also been ordered in court today to pay $14,200 in reparation.