Ripley woman Teresa Clay ripped off firm by claiming she had cancer
A FRAUDSTER pocketed cash raised by her work colleagues after claiming that she was dying from cancer.
Teresa Clay, 42, of Ripley, was also granted full pay by bosses while off work supposedly having medical treatment, a court heard.
She started her full-time job at Storm DFX, on the Nix Hill industrial estate, Alfreton, in August of last year.
She complained of a sore throat after a few weeks and told her employers she had to undergo further investigations in hospital, Derbyshire magistrates were told.
She then said she had been diagnosed with throat cancer.
Clay worked only mornings while claiming she was having radiotherapy.
"She then said doctors had found a second cancer in her throat and she needed chemotherapy," said prosecutor Mike Treharne.
"By November she said she could only take liquid food."
Clay went on to claim she had to move to her parents' home following a house fire, her ex-partner had thrown acid over her car bonnet and, in December, the vehicle blew up.
"Her employers were very concerned for her welfare. They hired a car for her for four weeks while she got hers fixed," said Mr Treharne.
In March, Clay told work she had a throat operation. The following month she claimed her one remaining kidney was malfunctioning and she couldn't afford a dialysis machine.
"Work colleagues took it upon themselves to do fund-raising.
"One did a ten-mile run and paid £300 to her. But there was no problem with her kidneys and she did not have cancer, the court was told.
"The workforce were completely taken in by her deceit.
"She was paid £3,618 she wasn't entitled to," added Mr Treharne. "It's a tale of deceit that's really quite awful." The fraud came to light after Clay quit her job to work for the National Grid in Blackwell, the court was told.
Clay, of Honeyfield Drive, admitted fraud between last August 15, 2011, and May 22 this year by making false claims that she was terminally ill. She had no previous convictions.
Magistrates said she had told "lie after lie" in an "unbelievable level of deceit" and imposed a six-month jail term – suspended for one year.
They ordered her to do 200 hours unpaid work and pay £3,618 compensation to Storm DFX and £300 to Jodie Stuart, with £85 costs.
Stacey White, for Clay, said she did not accept all the allegations but it was accepted it was "a fairly despicable offence".
Ms White said Clay's debts had "spiralled out of control" at the time.
She added: "She regrets her actions every day. She feels embarrassed and ashamed. She hasn't told her family."
Probation officer Julia Gillott said Clay was on medication for depression.