A British father who faked a terminal cancer to his family and friends to ???con??™ them out of cash, is beginning a 20 month jail sentence today. Simon Swift, 39, from Rugby in Warwickshire, central England started by telling his wife and three teenage children that he only had months to live and sold tickets worth hundreds of pounds for a fake charity auction. He claimed in May that the cancer had started in his spine and had become terminal. He even shaved his hair and claimed marks on his neck were from radiotherapy.
Heidi Kubik, prosecuting, said: ???This was a story he pedalled, not only to his family and friends but to the wider public??¦He said he wanted to do something for others, so with help from his son went about arranging a charity event for Cancer Research to be held at a local rugby club??¦The event gained some press coverage, tickets were produced free of charge and sold at ??5 a ticket.??? Miss Kubik said, ???These were some of the efforts made to make his last few months as memorable and enjoyable as possible.??? Nick Devine, defending, said Swift wanted to be ???the centre of attention.??? He added, ???He is someone who has low self-esteem and it would appear that these offences were committed to gain friends and popularity. He was trying to make himself the centre of attention??¦It was attention he craved which, in the past, he has lacked.??? Mr Devine said all property obtained for the auction had been recovered and returned.
Swift has a history of having spent part of every year since 2004 in prison for offences of dishonesty, earning him the dubious nickname of ???Shifty Swifty??™.