A court has heard that a mother claimed to have a deadly form of cancer to collect over £45,000 before blowing the cash on football tickets and expensive holidays.
Nicole Elkabbass is accused of splashing out on jaunts abroad and tickets to see Tottenham Hotspur, as well as restaurants and’ heavy gambling’ using ill-gotten profits.
A GoFundMe page posing as an ovarian cancer survivor, complete with a fake snap of her smitten in a hospital bed, was reportedly created by the 42-year-old mum-of-one.
“Prosecutor Ben Irwin explained how Elkabbass, obviously written by her mother, described the” Nicole needs our support treatments “page as a” beautiful daughter “and” loving mom “who was” recently diagnosed.
It came with an image depicting Elkabbass as fragile, lying on her back under a blanket in a hospital bed, eyes closed and mouth open.
But after she had an operation to remove her gallbladder, the photo was finally taken, the court heard.
Mr Irwin told the court that the ploy to help her extravagant lifestyle was a ruse, like paying out £3,592 on Spurs tickets and “heavily online gambling.”
He told the Canterbury Crown Court jury, “Well, members of the jury, put it plainly, these are lies.”
For cancer care, she didn’t use that money. In fact, the money she got was for a number of items-lots went on gambling, lots went on travel, lots went on tickets for Tottenham Hotspur.
There, apparently, she is injured and in her hospital bed, still looking very badly, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.
“Well, another lie, because when Miss Elkabbass had an operation to remove her gallbladder, that picture came from a completely different method.”
Giving testimony, Elkabbass ‘s former acquaintance, gynecologist consultant Nicholas Humphrey Morris, refuted her allegations that she had been diagnosed with cancer.
Actually, the doctor told the jury that it was Elkabbass who informed him that she had fallen ill and suspected foul play upon hearing that she had set up a crowdfunding website.
He clarified that, through its distinctive bedside wallpaper, he recognized the hospital in the picture as the Spencer Hospital in Margate, Kent, where two years earlier she had been treated for a separate procedure.
“She has never been a patient of mine and she has never been to see me in any of the hospitals or clinics in which I operate,” Morris added.
The prosecution argues that Elkabbass staged the photo and implied that all the donations would go through Ramsgate’s Jewish Synagogue-there were 39 in total.
But Rabbi Clifford Cohen, who is supposed to provide testimony later in the trial, says that the court heard that he had never heard of her.
It is expected that the complainant, who is represented by Oliver Kirk, would contend that she sincerely felt she was suffering from the disease. Her case has yet to be heard, but she disputes the allegations.
Elkabbass, of Broadstairs, Kent, faces two fraud counts that relate to the money she obtained between February and August 2018.
She disrupted the trial four times, dressed in a black and white striped blouse with her hair in a ponytail, drawing sharp replies from Judge Mark Weekes.
“Miss Elkabass, you will have your chance,” he told the defendant.
Elkabass denies one count of illegal property theft and possession, including charitable donations.