UK man jailed for pretending to have cancer

A British man was jailed today for pretending to have cancer in a bid to evade justice.

A British man was jailed today for pretending to have cancer in a bid to evade justice.

For three years, James Wallace kept proceedings in the County Court at bay by forging letters from a local cancer hospital.

The ruse was only foiled when a judge became suspicious and contacted the hospital directly to see if the 51-year-old was indeed a patient.

Wallace, from Wyelands View, Mathern, Chepstow, South Wales, was today sentenced to 12 months after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to perverting the course of justice.

Newport Crown Court heard Wallace had fallen foul of the law on a number of occasions, including being handed an 18-month jail term at the Old Bailey in 1984 for “trying to obtain millions of pounds” in a scam.

The latest deception began when a cost order went against him in the County Court.

Gareth James, prosecuting, said when the court refused to postpone the subsequent hearings, Wallace fabricated three letters purporting to come from the Velindre cancer hospital in Cardiff. The letters stated he was undergoing extensive treatment for cancer and was unfit to give evidence.

“The judge in those proceedings became suspicious in November (of last year) and asked for inquiries to be made with the Velindre hospital,” said Mr James.

“They looked at the letters and confirmed they had no patient of this particular name and that they were forgeries.”

When police questioned Wallace, he confessed immediately and said he had created the letterhead by copying and pasting the hospital’s logo from its website.

Steve Thomas, defending, said his client suffered from stress and had recently sought counselling and assistance from the charity Mind.

Mr Thomas also asked Judge Roderick Denyer QC to give Wallace credit for his early guilty plea.

Judge Denyer said: “In my view, this is so serious that only a prison sentence can be justified.”

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