Nicole Elkabbass (‘faked ovarian cancer) Wiki – Nicole Elkabbass (‘faked ovarian cancer) Biography
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A mum accused of faking cancer to pocket £45,000 of donations to splash out on holidays, restaurants and Premier League football tickets has revealed the ‘horrific’ extent of her gambling addiction.
Nicole Elkabbass allegedly used cash from a GoFundMe page to fund jaunts abroad, nearly £4,000 on tickets to watch Tottenham Hotspur and almost £70,000 on ‘heavy gambling’.
The former Harrods fashion consultant allegedly posed as a cancer patient and used a picture of her lying in a hospital bed.
The 42-year-old claims she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2017 by a gynaecologist she knew – something the doctor denies.
But the mother-of-one denied duping the public into making donations during her trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
She ‘truly believed’ she was in the late stages of the disease, the court heard yesterday.
The jury heard Elkabbass gambled about £68,000 on online bingo, with William Hill bookmakers and at the Grosvenor Casino in Broadstairs, Kent, between 2017 and 2018.
Defence barrister Oliver Kirk asked the defendant: ‘Did you believe at the time that you had cancer?’
‘Yes,’ Elkabbass replied. But when Mr Kirk asked: ‘Do you believe you had cancer now?’, she replied: ‘I don’t know’.
Elkabbass told jurors that her then-friend Dr Nick Morris ran a series of blood tests at his London office in 2017 that identified her as suffering from the deadly disease.
But Dr Morris, a leading gynaecologist, told the jury he had never treated the defendant and she, on the contrary, told him she contracted cancer.
Elkabbass said she set up the GoFundMe page with her mother, Delores Elkabbass, to raise money for cancer drugs unavailable in the UK.
The charity page came with a photo showing Elkabbass looking frail, laying on her back in a hospital bed under a blanket, with her eyes closed and mouth open.
But the picture was actually taken after she had an operation to remove her gallbladder, the prosecution allege.
She told jurors she came across a drug in Spain at Barcelona’s Centro Medico Teknon Hospital, where she became a patient but treatment would cost £40,000.
The defendant added that with her gambling addiction spinning out of control she set up the ‘Nicole needs our help treatments’ page, to use the funds to pay for the treatment.
However prosecutors allege there is no medical or paper proof the defendant was a patient at the Spanish hospital, instead arguing she splurged the money on a lavish lifestyle.
Elkabbass told the court she cleaned up her act but described her gambling at the time of the alleged offence as ‘horrendous’.
But prosecutors allege she duped the public into making the donations to prop up her extravagant spending.
Barrister Ben Irwin told the jury other purchases included £3,982 at Tottenham Hotspur Football club, £320 in TK Maxx, and flights to Rome and Barcelona, where she also shelled out for restaurants and hotels.
Yet speaking from the witness stand, Elkabbass said the Premier League tickets were for a friend who lent her the money previously and the trips were solely for cancer treatment.
Elkabbass, of Broadstairs, is facing two counts of fraud that relate to money she received between February and August, 2018.
She denies the charges and the trial continues.