"Bringing Families Together"

"Bringing Families Together"

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fraud mother fakes her son's illness


Detective Constable Mark Uren, from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, who led the investigation, said after Friday's hearing at Exeter Crown Court that the woman had "manipulated highly regarded medical professionals" to con the public purse.He said the 35-year-old claimed £20,000 a year in disability living allowance for six and a half years by forcing her young son to be fed through a tube.She told doctors the boy had diabetes and spiked his urine samples with glucose to fool tests. And she conned paediatricians into believing he needed a wheelchair, claiming he had cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, a throat disorder called dysphagia and countless food allergies.Since the boy was an infant she maintained to doctors, friends and family, even his father, that he was unable to eat or swallow food. She took her son to school in a wheelchair fitted with oxygen bottles and maintained that he had to be fed through a tube into his stomach. Doctors, who were never able to identify the mystery illness, eventually operated and fitted him with a permanent feeding tube.Dozens of children's charities also gave her freebies including a new car, tickets to see the X Factor and a cruise in Tenerife. The boy, who was also convinced he was ill, was also introduced to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, avoided detection by missing key hospital appointments, on one occasion claiming she couldn't attend a diabetic appointment because she had been raped. The false rape claim was reported to police, who were on the verge of making an arrest, after the woman caused injuries to herself to substantiate her claims of a violent attack.She was eventually found out when a paediatrician raised the alarm after reviewing her son's medical files and became suspicious that his health problems had gone on for so long without a clear diagnosis.In court the mother admitted one count of cruelty on a person under 16 from which she caused or procured a child to be ill-treated, abandoned or exposed causing unnecessary suffering or injury to health. She also admitted a charge of intending to pervert the course of justice for making a false accusation of rape.Judge Stephen Wildblood QC ordered psychiatric reports to be carried out ahead of sentencing at a date to be fixed.

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