- West Country (E)
A mother from Stroud who shaved her son's head and eyebrows to pretend he had cancer in an £85,000 benefit scam has been jailed.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, forged doctors' notes and made it look as though her son was taking medication for cancer.
The money was used to take her children to Florida, where she made the boy sit in a wheelchair so they could jump queues.
She kept up the elaborate farce for almost 3 years while the boy was aged between six and eight, but was found out when the boy's father became suspicious and went to his GP.
The woman was arrested and admitted one count of child cruelty, eight counts of fraud and one of forgery.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC sentenced her at Gloucester Crown Court to three years and nine months in prison, adding that having her children taken from her was also a powerful punishment.
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