THE VICTIMS of a Gainsborough woman who lied to a number of businesses and charities and even her own family about having cancer have spoken out against her ‘sick’ behaviour.
Terri Eva June Edkins admitted fraud through false representation by lying about having leukaemia, bone cancer and a brain tumour. The 23-year old mother of three from Harpswell Close defrauded Tesco, St John’s Ambulance, Gainsborough Lions club and Elise Bridal out of a total of nearly £2,000.
Owner of the Elise bridal shop at Marshall’s Yard, Sharon Douglas was conned out of £1,561.50 by Edkins in August 2009 when she told her that she was dying before her wedding.
“She came in an explained that she was getting married quite soon and that the wedding might be brought forwards because she had cancer,” remembers Sharon.
“She said that she had a very little money. We all felt heart-broken because she had three young children too, so we gave her about £800 worth of clothing for about £250. The staff all chipped in for the couple to honeymoon at the Oaklands Country House Hotel.”
“Because of the kids, we just wanted to help make the wedding as special as possible so they’d have a nice day to remember. We got quite emotionally involved. I got her ready on the morning of her wedding and then went along. She had even lied to the vicar he announced her illness during the ceremony, and the worst part was her grandmother getting very upset because she said she couldn’t imagine outliving her granddaughter.”
Before long, Terri was telling people that she had to raise thousands of pounds to travel to Boston in America for treatment.
“Eventually we read about her court case in the paper and that’s the day I called the police. We were so angry. I think that the money factor is insignificant in comparison to the upset she must has caused her family. I just can’t believe all of the lying, deceit and heartache she’s caused. It’s sick and wrong and unthinkable that she would lie.”
She continued: “We’ve got a few customers who are going through cancer and the way I see it, she stole that money from people who are genuinely suffering.”
Sharon added: “Every penny that we get back from this will go to the cancer charities where it should have gone in the first place.”
John Rodgers from Gainsborough Lions added: “This has been a distressing incident but we, as Lions, must be positive and continue with our goal which is to serve and support our community.” “This has been unfortunate for all concerned, not least the children whom we’d tried to help in the first place, but we will continue to see good in people and offer our support where we can.”