'She thought she could win money for Toby Nye': Sister responds after Stacey Worsley admits £100,000 fraud
The sister of Toby Nye's mum has issued a statement following Stacey Worsley pleading guilty to defrauding £100,000 from the fund set up to pay for his rare cancer treatment.
Becky Worsley Cash posted in a public post on Facebook today to put across what she says happened to her sister, following the conviction at Leeds Crown Court.
Stacey Worsley pleaded guilty to fraud when she appeared at Leeds Crown Court on Monday -less then two months after the death of the six-year-old.
-> Mum of tragic Leeds United fan Toby Nye stole £100,000 from his cancer fundThe Yorkshire Evening Post understands Worsley, who declined to comment when approached after the hearing, abused her position as a trustee of the fund to spend the money on gambling.
West Yorkshire Police has confirmed that all of the money has been recovered and that Worsley's offending did NOT affect Toby's treatment.
Toby was diagnosed with rare cancer neuroblastoma on his fourth birthday in January 2017 and died of a brain tumour on January 12, 2019.
On Tuesday morning, Becky put on Facebook: "Don't know if this is the right thing to do but I can't sit back and say nothing.
"She [Stacey] honestly believed she could win the money we needed for his treatment, this was before Leeds were on board.
"She was blinded by panic, worry and fear, she 100 per cent knows she has done wrong but please put yourself in her shoes for one second, she was petrified she would lose her son and in the process ended up addicted to gambling whilst frantically trying to win back what she lost.
"She's devastated that she has brought shame on the family. But no one knew you're not allowed to gamble whilst crowd funding she honestly didn't realise she was doing anything wrong!"
She added: "I won't be replying to any comments I'll be focusing all my energy on my sister who cared for our baby boy perfectly, she made a mistake...none of us are perfect!
"Please bear in mind she has just lost her child, and allow us all to continue to grieve x"
The youngster's family launched an appeal to raise £200,000 to pay for therapy which was not available on the NHS.
The fundraising target was achieved with huge support from Leeds United.
-> Toby Nye's tragic life from first cancer diagnosis to devastating final daysEarly testing after treatment showed his bone marrow was clear of cancer.
Tragically he was then diagnosed with a brain tumour and died on January 12, 2019.
Stacey Worsley, 32, of Osmondthorpe, Leeds, pleaded guilty after the fraud charge was put to her by the court clerk.
The full details of the charge were: "Stacey Worsley, between January 2, 2017, and March 30, 2018, you committed fraud in that, dishonestly and intending thereby to make a gain for yourself or another, or to cause loss to another, or to expose another to the risk of loss, abused her position as a trustee in respect of monies donated for the treatment of Toby Nye, in which she was expected to safeguard or not take against the financial interests of the said Toby Nye, by using approximately £140,700 of such monies for her own purposes, in breach of Section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006."
-> Toby Nye's funeral service as it happenedProsecutor Phillip Adams said Worsley had pleaded guilty to the offence on the basis that she had illegally obtained a lower figure of £100,000.
The basis of plea has been accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.
There was discussion between counsel in the case and Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, about money being recovered from online gambling companies.
The defendant - who appeared in court under the name Stacey Wosley - spoke only to enter the guilty plea and confirm her date of birth and nationality during the seven-minute hearing.
The case was adjourned for a probation service report.
Worsley was granted bail and will be sentenced on March 29.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: "As part of the investigation, police have secured the return of all of the money involved with a view to the majority being used to support an identical local good cause, which is yet to be decided on, and an amount being redistributed to identified key donors.
"At no point did the fraud affect the child’s medical treatment, which was funded separately."
A spokesperson for Leeds United said: "We can confirm that all money raised by supporters, players and staff of Leeds Untied during our Toby Nye campaign was ring-fenced by the club and used to pay for Toby's treatment."