A scam artist has left two Perth men heartbroken and thousands of dollars out of pocket.
The men both fell in love with the same woman, helping her raise her baby and supporting her through treatment for terminal cancer.
But neither man was aware of the other – or that the woman they loved had faked her cancer diagnosis.
Wheeled out of court on Tuesday by her mother, Rebecca Gray had just admitted to an elaborate scam – one that has left a trail of shattered men in her wake.
Sean Fry, 32, was one of them.
“You just don’t think someone who tells you they’ve got cancer, doesn’t have cancer – you just wouldn’t think someone would do that,” he said.
It took more than a year for Sean to realise the woman he was in love with wasn’t sick.
The whole time he was with her, she had also been in a relationship with another man and feeding him the same lies.
“She’s basically taken advantage of us and we’ve looked after her, and every time she’s gone over to [the other man’s] place she was telling me she was having her liver drained or a blood transfusion or a spinal tap,” Sean said.
Between them they lost $11,000, but it’s not the money that upsets them most.
Ms Gray has a little boy who is almost three and who they helped to raise.
He has become like a son to Sean.
“The last six months has been getting back in touch with the kid that she wouldn’t let us see,” he said.
He says Rebecca Gray’s admission was a hollow victory and a year after finding out, the pain still cuts deep.
“I’m not sort of thinking about other relationships or trust or anything, just getting by I guess,” he said.
Ms Gray has pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud and will be sentenced later this year.