Billericay cancer woman arrested on suspicion of fraud

A WOMAN whose heart-rending story about a battle with terminal cancer led to a high-profile fundraising drive has been arrested on suspicion of fraud.

Danielle Watson, 22, from Billericay , was arrested by police at her home on Friday morning.

Mrs Watson, who has worked as a PA at the Financial Services Authority, was released on bail until August 6.

Last week the Echo revealed police were investigating the fundraising.

The arrest followed inquiries by Basildon CID and came after she posted on Twitter she was cured and now pregnant.

Mrs Watson has also been involved in an online recruitment agency set up last month.

She revealed in March in an Echo article she had stage-four cervical cancer and had been given a 15 per cent chance of survival.

People rallied round to raise £6,000 to pay for specialist treatment not available on the NHS, an intravenous vitamin C therapy said to have helped some cancer patients.

A number of volunteers set up sites on Facebook and Twitter to help raise the cash, and local fundraising events were held.

In April she married Chris Watson, 28, with a reception at the Ivory Rooms, in Billericay, after management donated the venue. The collections stopped last month after a fundraiser reported alleged discrepancies in Mrs Watson’s account of her illness to police.

It is understood about £6,000 was raised through Facebook, with the money now in a bank account while inquiries continue.

Earlier this month an article about Mrs Watson’s cancer battle appeared in real life magazine Full House, which asked those wishing to help fund the treatment to e-mail her directly.

Speaking at her home on Friday, after being released on bail, Mrs Watson said: “I have not been charged.” She added that she was confident she would clear her name.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “A 22-year-old woman was arrested at her home on suspicion of fraud by false representation.”

No one else has been arrested.

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