The housemate of a woman who conned friends by faking cancer has revealed how the woman kept up the ruse, and even scammed her own boyfriend.
A heavily pregnant Lucy Victoria Wieland, 28, pleaded guilty to six fraud charges and one count of possessing a restricted drug when she appeared at Townsville Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
She broke down in tears as she was sentenced to two years jail and escorted from the court in handcuffs.
The con woman was also ordered to pay back more than $29,000 to the victims she defrauded, including her ex-boyfriend, Australian Defence Force soldier Bradley Congerton.
Jamie Campbell lived with Wieland between March and August of 2018 after meeting through a mutual friend, the Townsville Bulletin reported.
Ms Campbell (pictured) said she had no idea that her housemate’s diagnosis was a lie and that living with Wieland during her faked illness was ‘intense’
Jamie Campbell (right) lived with Wieland (left) between March and August of 2018 after meeting through a mutual friend
Ms Campbell said she had no idea that her housemate’s diagnosis was a lie and that Wieland even had a fake chemotherapy timeline in their kitchen.
‘She had a chalkboard in the kitchen with dates and times of her chemo and surgeries and I would come home after work to her on the couch saying that her skin is burning and her bones hurt from the chemo,’ she said.
‘She was bedridden for days and spent time on the bathroom floor by the toilet sick from chemo.’
Ms Campbell said her housemate would only drink water if it had been boiled, and she wasn’t allowed guests unless she was certain they weren’t sick.
Wieland convinced everyone she was on death’s doorstep and conned $72,000 from GoFundMe, the Townsville Baseball Association and a local barber.
Ms Campbell tried her best to support her housemate during her supposed cancer battle, living together between March and August 2018 after meeting through a mutual friend.
‘I don’t know how much I spent on her but I bought her flowers, chocolates, an air purifier and drinks when she decided she wanted to go to the pub because she said she was going to die anyway,’ she said.
A heavily pregnant Lucy Victoria Wieland (pictured), 28, pleaded guilty to six fraud charges and one count of possessing a restricted drug when she appeared at Townsville Magistrates Court on Tuesday
Bradley Congerton (right) dated Wieland (left) and took out loans to help pay for her cancer treatments before discovering he had been deceived
Ms Campbell said she feels as though she was played a fool and realised if someone can fake having cancer, how is it possible to trust anyone.
Wieland was sentenced in court on Tuesday where Magistrate Viviana Keegan described Wieland’s deception as ‘beyond significant’, the ABC reported.
‘There’s also an extraordinary breach of trust to members of the public, who were empathetic towards you … and gave up money to try and help you when it was all just a lie,’ she told Wieland.
Wieland went to great lengths to convince family and friends of her ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2018.
She shaved her head, posted photos of herself receiving treatment on social media and set up a GoFundMe page.
The court also heard Wieland forged a doctor’s letter and lied about her illness on medical forms when she donated blood several times.
‘There was significant research undertaken by the defendant to ensure that what was displayed by her was convincing,’ police prosecutor Tim Madsen told the court.
Wieland went to great lengths to convince family and friends of her ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2018. She shaved her head (pictured) and posted frequently on social media
Wieland later claimed to police she can’t recall the seven-month period in which she told friends and family she was dying.
Defence barrister Michael Hibble told the court an assessment found his client was suffering from a rare mental disorder known as Munchausen syndrome and that the scam ‘snowballed’ out of control as community sympathy grew.
‘She had no control of how generous the Townsville community would be in relation to the donations,’ Mr Hibble told the court.
Wieland will give birth to her first child in October and will be eligible for parole in February next year.
Earlier this year, Mr Congerton revealed he told Wieland that he loved her just hours before discovering he had been deceived.
Ms Campbell (pictured) said she feels as though she was played a fool and worries that she can never trust people again
He had given up work to care for his supposedly sick girlfriend and spent all his life savings on treatment.
He also took out a $12,000 loan, and two other $5,000 loans in the hope it would help save her life.
‘I’d sit her up in bed, get her some food, take her to the toilet, set up her biomat in bed to do three hours,’ he told the Townsville Bulletin in January.
‘Set up her nebuliser to make sure it had enough juice and sit her medication by her bed.
‘I did that every day for her. That morning, I kissed her goodbye, said “I love you” and went to work. That was the last time I spoke to her.’
He revealed he even received death threats from the public who falsely claimed he was in on Wieland’s scam.