Mom gets jail for faking son's cancer

Nov. 14, 2012 at 4:16 PM
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GLOUCESTER, England, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- An English mother of five has been jailed for almost four years for faking a son's serious illness to collect benefits and even avoid lines at DisneyWorld.

At a hearing Tuesday in Gloucester Crown Court, a victim impact statement from the boy was read calling Emma La Garde, 36, "evil" and saying she does not appear to have a "normal brain," The Daily Mirror reported.

"I didn't really understand what was happening. I don't miss her any more," he said. "I did wonder why she picked on me. I have spoken with dad about it loads and it must have been because of my age."

La Garde collected more than 85,000 pounds ($135,000) in disability benefits for her son between 2007 and 2011, the prosecutor, Lisa Hennessy, said.

Hennessy said La Garde first claimed her son had an auto-immune disease and later that he was suffering from lymphoma, shaving his hair and eyebrows and telling his school and even her husband he was bald because of drugs he was taking. But neighbors wondered why the boy who had to go to school in a wheelchair could sometimes be spotted jumping on a trampoline in his backyard.

"In fact he was desperate to get out of his wheelchair and refused to use it when at home," Hennessy said.

After La Garde and her husband separated, he took his son to a doctor and was told the boy was not ill and his blood tests were normal.

La Garde was sentenced to 3 years and 9 months.

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