Nicole Elkabbass is accused of using ill-gotten gains to splash out on jaunts abroad and tickets to watch Tottenham Hotspur, as well as restaurants and “heavy gambling”
A mum pretended to have a deadly form of cancer to fundraise over £45,000 before spending the cash on football tickets and lavish holidays, a court has heard.
Nicole Elkabbass is accused of using ill-gotten gains to splash out on jaunts abroad and tickets to watch Tottenham Hotspur, as well as restaurants and “heavy gambling”.
The 42-year-old mum-of-one allegedly created a GoFundMe page posing as an ovarian cancer victim, complete with a fake snap of her stricken in a hospital bed.
Prosecutor Ben Irwin described how the page “Nicole needs our help treatments”, seemingly written by her mother, described Elkabbass as a “beautiful daughter” and “loving mum” who was “recently diagnosed”.
It came with a photo portraying Elkabbass as frail, laying on her back in a hospital bed under a blanket, eyes closed and mouth open.
But the picture was actually taken after she had an operation to remove her gallbladder, the court heard.about:blank?unblock=true
Mr Irwin told a court the ploy was a ruse to prop up her lavish lifestyle, including shelling out £3,592 on Spurs tickets and “gambling heavily online”.
He told a jury at Canterbury Crown Court: “Well, members of the jury, simply put, these were lies.
“She didn’t use that money for cancer treatment. The money she received was in fact for a variety of things – lots went on gambling, lots went on travel, lots went on Tottenham Hotspur tickets.
“There she is apparently stricken and in her hospital bed, looking very poorly indeed, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.
“Well, another lie, because that photo came from a completely different procedure when Miss Elkabbass had an operation to remove her gallbladder.”
Giving evidence, Elkabbass’s former friend, consultant gynaecologist Nicholas Humphrey Morris, denied her claims that he diagnosed her with cancer.https://data.reachplc.com/203074474031850
In fact, the doctor told the jury it was Elkabbass who informed him she had fallen ill and, on hearing she had set up a crowdfunding page, suspected foul play.
He explained he recognised the hospital in the photo, by its distinctive bedside wallpaper, as the Spencer Hospital in Margate, Kent, where she had been treated for a separate operation two years prior.
Morris added: “She has never been a patient of mine and she has never been to see me at any hospitals or the clinics I work in.”
The prosecution claims Elkabbass staged the photo and claimed all the donations – there were 39 in total – would go through Ramsgate’s Jewish Synagogue.
But rabbi Clifford Cohen, who is expected to give evidence later in the trial, claims he has never heard of her, the court heard.
The defendant, who is represented by Oliver Kirk, is expected to argue she honestly believed she suffered from the disease. Her case is yet to be heard but she denies the charges.
Elkabbass, of Broadstairs, Kent, is facing two counts of fraud that relate to money she received between February and August 2018.
Dressed in a black and white striped blouse with her hair in a ponytail, she interrupted the proceedings four times, prompting sharp replies from Judge Mark Weekes.about:blank?unblock=true
“You will have your turn Miss Elkabass,” he told the defendant.
Elkabass denies one count of fraud and possession of criminal property, namely charitable donations.
The trial continues.
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