Jess Glynne: ThursdayiTunesAmazon

Jess Glynne: ThursdayiTunesAmazon

Woman who faked cancer to claim sick pay from Harrogate-based charity jailed for £86k fraud

ROBERTSHAW, Patricia Helen

Published by Lizzy McEllan at 5:35pm 14th March 2019. (Updated at 5:44pm 14th March 2019)

A woman who pretended she had cancer in an “astonishingly unethical” fraud has been jailed for more than four years.

  • Patricia Robertshaw, 42, from Barrowford in Lancashire, has been jailed for four years and five months for conning her ex employer, Yorkshire Cancer Research, out of over £80,000
  • Robertshaw faked she was suffering from cancer, claiming £15k of sick pay
  • She also forged sick notes from her doctor
  • Robertshaw had provided false qualifications to get the job - something she did in previous roles - including at Leeds Beckett University
  • She was charged with four counts of fraud and one of forgery

Patricia Helen Robertshaw, who worked as an events manager at Yorkshire Cancer Research in Harrogate, put entries in her diary for fictitious hospital, chemotherapy and radiotherapy appointments and took extended periods of leave, claiming to be recovering from life-saving surgery.

The North Yorkshire Police detective who led the investigation said it was “the most abhorrent fraud” he had ever investigated in 25 years as a police officer.

Robertshaw, of Gisburn Road in Barrowford, Lancashire, maintained the deceit for around two years, fraudulently claiming sick pay and time off from her employer.

The 42-year-old also lied about her qualifications, producing false certificates to get jobs, and submitted fake sick notes that were detected by the charity.

While working for a previous employer, Leeds Beckett University, she also forged leadership qualifications for 55 students for work they completed under her guidance.

She pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and forging certificates when she appeared at York Crown Court in January.

A judge at the same court sent her to prison for four years and five months when she appeared for sentence today.

She was sentenced for four fraud counts, including £86,833 against the charity, and one count of forgery.

Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Shane Martin, who led the case for North Yorkshire Police, said:

“This is the most abhorrent fraud case I have investigated in 25 years of being a police officer.

“It’s absolutely incomprehensible that anyone could lie about having such a serious illness.

Everything about the way Robertshaw conducted herself during this fraud is astonishingly unethical.

“It was a callous and calculated crime to try to trick her former employer – a charity that works for the good of real cancer patients and uses donations made in good faith to fund lifechanging services and research.

“Fortunately though, the charity detected that something was amiss and that led to an extensive fraud investigation by North Yorkshire Police.

“As our investigation progressed, we uncovered a level of deceit that is, frankly, shocking.

“Today’s sentence, however, ensures a truly immoral person has been dealt with justly.”

Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Stray FM

Newer article

Thieves target two Weeton homes

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: The burglaries took place overnight on Monday.

Top articles

Metropolitan Police officer found guilty of raping woman in Antigua

National: A serving Metropolitan Police officer is facing a lengthy prison term in the Caribbean after he was convicted of raping a woman.

Metropolitan Police officer found guilty of raping woman in Antigua

World: A serving Metropolitan Police officer is facing a lengthy prison term in the Caribbean after he was convicted of raping a woman.

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi denies alleged athletics corruption

Sport: A lawyer for Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has denied any alleged corruption by him after he was placed under formal investigation in France in relation to Qatar's attempt to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

Bitter Sweet Symphony: Rolling Stones return royalties and rights to Richard Ashcroft after 22-year row

Showbiz: One of the UK music industry's most notable copyright disputes has been resolved with the royalties and rights for Bitter Sweet Symphony being returned to The Verve's Richard Ashcroft.

NEW Toy Story 4 trailer

Family: Our favourite toys are back and are off on a new adventure!

WATCH: 43 Minutes of Queen in the 70s

70s: The band's team have put together highlights of the their early career including some iconic performances.

Did you bet on this 'Dark Horse'?

70s On This Day: George Harrison launched his own record label

You're being asked to Bake for Heroes

Charity Hub: TV chef is encouraging you join in!

Welcome to Yorkshire’s canal garden cruises to gold

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: It's been recognised at this year's Chelsea Flower Show

Top Party Dresses for the Festive Season

Christmas: Local Blogger, the Harrogate Girl, picks the best frocks, gowns and outfits for the big Christmas parties of 2017.

"It's a fantastic place": Harrogate cancer centre celebrates major milestone

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre at Harrogate District Hospital is marking its five year anniversary.

Stray FM celebrates BEST EVER audience figures

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: More of you are listening for longer as we celebrate our 25th birthday

Delve into deliciousness at Mother Shiptons Inn

Test pages: We sent Stray FM's James Stanley to try out the new menu at Mother Shipton's Inn Knaresborough.

Tour de Yorkshire host venues confirmed

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: There'll be no re-run of this year's memorable Tour de France stage finish in Harrogate.

North Yorkshire districts among best places to live in UK

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: Three parts of North Yorkshire have been named in the top ten places to live in the UK.


Bank holidays - are there too many this time of year?