Mother who shaved son's head in cancer scam jailed

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A mother who shaved off her son's hair to pretend he had cancer has been jailed for three years and nine months.

The woman from Gloucestershire kept up the pretence for almost three years while the boy was aged six to eight in order to claim extra benefits, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

She admitted one count of child cruelty, eight counts of fraud and one of forgery by faking doctors' letters.

The woman, who cannot be named, claimed disability and carer's allowances.

The woman even put her son in a wheelchair while on holiday in Florida so they could jump queues at a theme park, the court heard.

Jailing the 36-year-old, Judge Jamie Tabor said: "You shaved his head and paraded him in public as a victim of cancer.

"I have no doubt that there have been periods in your life when you have been unwell but also I have no doubt that you have all but lost the ability to tell the truth."

The court was told the woman shaved off her son's hair and eyebrows to mimic the effects of chemotherapy and claimed £85,899.44 in benefits.

These included disability living allowance and carers' allowance, as well as child tax credits claimed by falsely saying other children were living with her.

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