A woman who pretended to have terminal cancer so that she could con a small charity into paying for a wedding ceremony has been spared jail.
Carla Evans, 29, claimed she had bladder cancer, thyroid cancer and liver and kidney failure to defraud the charity Wish Upon a Wedding which offers family events to terminally ill people.
The mother-of-two asked for help on social media and said she was dying, Newport Crown Court heard.
She was then contacted by Karen Hobbs, a volunteer from the charity, who offered to organise a vow renewal ceremony worth £15,000.
The charity asked for just £500 towards the cost and asked for proof of her diagnosis in return.
Her lie began to unravel when she forged a letter from an NHS consultant at the Royal Gwent Hospital saying she was terminally ill with liver and bladder cancer.
Mrs Hobbs became suspicious and launched her own investigation before contacting the police.
Evans lied to the police and said she had a liver condition and required dialysis.
When interviewed by officers, she initially denied forging the letter from the consultant but later admitted she had done.
Emma Harris, prosecuting, read a statement from Mrs Hobbs which said she had given up her charity work as a result of being unable to trust people.
The letter said: “Carla had all my attention and trust, and I became very close to Carla and treated her as a friend.
“I will never trust anyone again. Carla was so convincing and from day one of meeting Carla I questioned a few things, but felt bad questioning those things of a dying person.
“Carla was very good at convincing us and had us all fooled. I have had my trust in human kindness stolen from me.”
Evans, of Trecenydd, Caerphilly, South Wales, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to fraud by false representation.
Defence lawyer Ashanti-Jade Walton said: “There is no disputing that that facts of this case are awful.
“Miss Evans is not only remorseful but deeply ashamed, ashamed for hurting Karen Hobbs, who is a kind-hearted woman.
“She has lost her good character and let down her family.”
Judge Jeremy Jenkins said only her two young children had saved Evans from an immediate custodial sentence.
He imposed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 15 months and ordered Evans to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and 15 days of rehabilitation.
He added: “You are a particularly devious type of person who should be utterly ashamed of yourself. Your behaviour beggars belief.”
Evans was also told to pay £340 prosecution costs and £140 surcharge.