Kelsey Whitehead, 38, inserted a fake drip into her chest and even convinced her partner she was riddled with bone cancer.
Whitehead claimed that because she had stage four metastatic osteosarcoma, the NHS would only fund palliative care, forcing her to get private treatment.
That persuaded her employers to issue a £5,000 loan for treatment alongside £10,000 in sick pay.
Having pocketed the money, Whitehead researched symptoms on the internet which she would then pretend to display.
She even bought cancer medication and a catheter, which she inserted into her chest and used for 18 months.
Lincoln Crown Court heard Whitehead also shaved off her hair, used make-up to give the impression of sleep deprivation and forced herself to vomit as a “side effect” of her illness.
Her wife Sophie, whom she married in 2015, was so taken in by the ruse she quit work to care for her partner.
Your deceit has been serious and persistent, planned and sophisticated
Whitehead was employed as an administration manager for Hull-based Carbon Electric in 2013, having falsely claimed she was in remission from a previous bout of cancer.
The following February, she claimed the cancer had returned. And at one point Whitehead, who earned £20,000 a year, even penned a letter to work colleagues “revealing” that the cancer had spread to her neck, bladder, liver, kidneys and finally her brain.
Her hoax was finally exposed in May 2016 after she was admitted to hospital having taken a pills overdose. Whitehead, of Gainsborough, Lincs, admitted two charges of fraud.
She had arrived at court carrying a holdall, expecting to be jailed, but escaped with a suspended 12-month tariff and a 20-week night-time curfew.
Judge Michael Heath said: “Your deceit has been serious and persistent, planned and sophisticated. “It has been an insult to people who really do suffer from cancer.”
But the judge claimed Whitehead’s behaviour may have been the result of a number of reported traumas in her life, including apparent sexual, physical and emotional abuse.
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