Fraudster Stacey Worsley faces being struck off as a nurse over her conviction for gambling away £100,000 raised to pay for her son's cancer treatment.
Leeds Crown Court heard Worsley now faces a disciplinary hearing by the Nursing and Midwifery Council over her conduct.
Worsley's barrister Nicholas De La Poer said: "She faces a very hard road to persuade her regulatory body.
"The likely outcome is that she is likely to be struck off."
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The barrister said the turmoil of having a gravely ill son had "compromised her moral compass".
He added: "Toby's death took an enormous toll on Stacey Worsley."
Mr De La Poer said Worsley had gambled as a "hobby" for many years before the offending began.
He added that she began offending before Leeds United became involved in the campaign.
He said: "She believed the best way to achieve those large amounts of money was to gamble.
"It spiraled out of control. She was in the grip of it."
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The barrister said Worsley did not have a gambling addiction despite the sums of money involved and had not gambled since her arrest.
He said: "Just as some addicted smokers or others with serious addictions find themselves able to to give up after a traumatic event, that is what has happened with Stacey Worsley.
"The gambling started with the best of intentions and became a distraction from her situation."
The court heard Worsley's legal team had not sought a psychiatric report into her behaviour.
The barrister said: "In other words she is a thoroughly caring and law abiding citizen and has full insight into her behaviour."
Mr De La Poer said Worsley committed the offences when she was isolated as she spent long hours away from relatives and her other two other children as she helped care for Toby.
The court heard Worsley, her partner Simon and their children would probably lose their family home in Osmondthorpe if she was sent immediately to prison.
Urging the judge to take an "exceptional course" by suspending the sentence, Mr De La Poer said: "These were circumstances that were highly unusual.
"There is no reasonable prospect of it ever being repeated."