Clare Bain, 36, took most of the money over four years from her father-in-law John Mellett, whose wife had died from cancer.

She even made him and her husband Ian wait in a cafe at the Christie cancer hospital in Manchester while she faked having treatment.

She conned her brother-in-law Craig Mellett out of £1,490, saying she needed it for headgear used to reduce hair loss from chemotherapy.

The mother of three, who was never ill and is now divorced, told the Mellett family that she had just been diagnosed with cancer following an NHS mistake.

A court heard Bain told them she was due compensation of £230,000 and also told her husband Ian she had three months to live.

She also claimed she had a life insurance policy worth £90,000.

Prosecutor Roger Brown told Bolton Crown Court: “The whole thing was a charade.”

Bain, who had helped her father-in-law Mr Mellett care for his wife Glenda when she was suffering terminal cancer, was given £40,355 in loans after she told him she was waiting for the “NHS compensation”.

He also gave her his bank card so she could help him in his day-to-day life and she defrauded him of a further £7,205.11 to settle payday loans.

Mr Mellett asked her about the money in May 2016 and she told him she would pay him £10,000 after tricking him into thinking she had almost £39,000 in her account.

But the next month, Mr Mellett was told by his bank that he was overdrawn by £139.

He confronted Bain but she denied any wrong-doing.

However, family members had doubts about whether Bain was telling the truth about her illness and alerted police.

Bain, of Little Lever, Bolton, was jailed after admitting fraud and theft charges. Recorder John Jones, QC, told her: “Mr Mellett had a considerable amount of trust in you – trust you cruelly abused.”

In a statement Mr Mellett said: “I treated Clare like a daughter and gave her everything I had. For her to do this is the lowest of the low.”

Daily Express

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