A fraudster conned a small cancer charity into employing her as a £40,000 a year marketing and events manager by claiming that she had two masters degrees and a doctorate. She also claimed to have cancer and used the time she got off for her fictitious illness to apply for other well-paid jobs, using the same lies about her qualifications.

Patricia Robertshaw, 42, of Barrowford, Lancashire was jailed for four years and five months at York Crown Court after admitting four counts of fraud and one of forgery. She had taken a total of £86, 833, including £19,000 in sick pay, from Yorkshire Cancer Research, and her deceptions first raised suspicion when she claimed to be having radiotherapy treatment at a hospital where it was not available. The final proof came when the charity’s management required all staff to provide certificates for their claimed qualifications and Robertshaw’s were found to be bogus, with false signatures.

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