Family fume 'she betrayed us' after bride, 29, faked terminal cancer to con them into paying £8k for dream wedding

A FURIOUS family has blasted a bride who faked terminal cancer to con them into paying £8,000 for her dream wedding.

Toni Standen, 29, shaved her head and said of her "fake" disease: “It’s gone to my brain, my bones – it’s everywhere."

Ms Standen, from Widnes, Cheshire, lied to her own family and pals in order to get them to pay for her wedding to hubby James, 52.

Her aunt Connie Atherton told Sun Online: “It’s come as a big shock to us. We went to the wedding.

“We’ve only just found out what happened and we haven’t even spoken to her mother yet.”

Connie added: “Her whole family is very shocked. She betrayed her friends.”

Another relative, who didn't wish to be named, said: “It’s too upsetting."

Toni’s husband James refused to comment when contacted by The Sun Online.

Ms Standen tugged at heart strings by saying she wanted her dad Derek, 57, who was dying of cancer, to walk her down the aisle.

He died before the big day but a video he recorded was played.

Friends launched a GoFundMe page to give Ms Standen and partner James “a wedding they deserve".

One guest said: “After hearing her father’s laboured words she got up and gave a faultless speech, even cracking a few jokes.

“Her mother and brother were in bits. We’d all just listened to a father of the bride message from beyond the grave.

“Toni even received a video message from Everton FC, delivered by one of the top players. She laughed throughout.”


After the wedding in Widnes, Ms Standen and James went to a nearby hotel.

Witnesses claim she rifled through wedding cards, counting the cash inside, before jetting off to Turkey for her honeymoon.

Ms Standen’s lies were later exposed when she claimed to have coronavirus, raising suspicions among pals.

Cheryl Aston, 33, who donated £525, said: “She could have won an Oscar, her acting was that good. She fooled us all. We were all completely sucked in.

“She told me she was dying and I fell for it.”

In July 2017, Standen was interviewed in her local paper saying she had cancer.

She gave a second interview last year, telling of the “devastating” news her illness was terminal.

In January this year, Standen went as far to say she had two months to live and her organs had started to fail.

And in February, a post on her Facebook page – which she later blamed on hackers said: “RIP TONI. Our lovely Toni passed away last night, surrounded by friends and family… strong until the end.”

Two friends eventually decided to question her.

One said: “We rang her for a three-way conversation and recorded it. We asked her straight: ‘Have you really got cancer?’

“She started crying and admitted it was all lies. We ended the call and phoned the police straight away.”

Ms Standen pleaded guilty last week to fraud by false representation between February 2019 and April 2020 and she could now face jail for her actions.

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