A police officer was jailed for a year after lying to his wife, children, and work colleagues about having cancer.
Michael Matts, 34, was described as a 'conniving cheat' for telling his relatives, colleagues and friends that he was undergoing radiotherapy.
Matts was ferried to hospital by sympathetic colleagues for radiotherapy while senior officers were only too happy place him on less strenuous duties and sign him off for long periods.
He also took time off for depression while working at the serious and dangerous offenders unit in Leicester.
While his now-former wife Emma, 30, brought forward their wedding day because she was convinced Matts might die, concerned friends and workmates took the time to drive him to hospital for 'treatment'.
But Leicester Crown Court heard there was nothing wrong with the father-of-two, who secretly busied himself during his extended period of 'sick leave' by setting up a bicycle shop.
He was jailed for one year for a series of frauds.
Matts admitted obtaining financial benefit by receiving police pay when falsely claiming he was unfit to work with cancer, between July 2004 and January 2005.
He also admitted fraud between March 2007 and 2008 by falsely telling Leicestershire Police he was absent due to illness.
When he joined the force in 2001, he told colleagues that seven times Tour de France winner, and testicular cancer battler, Lance Armstrong was his inspiration.
He then promised £900,000 to sponsor a Belgian cycle team while posing as a wealthy businessman. The bogus pledge left a Belgian sports management firm with a crippling £485,000 bill and a £64,000 lawsuit.
Matts also admitted fraudulently making an Alliance and Leicester guarantee and dishonestly using it in relation to the bogus sponsorship deal.
A customer at his shop who paid £2,100 for a bicycle he never received was also fobbed off with lies, the court was told.
John Heighton, the father of Matts' former wife Emma, said the officer's actions were despicable and slammed the judicial system for giving him such a short prison sentence.
Speaking from his home in Wigston, Leicester, the 78-year-old said: 'My daughter came home last year to find police swarming the house - she thought Michael had died.
'They didn't tell her much at the time and Michael continued to spin her lies. She thought he was a good person.
'Not only did he manage to dupe my daughter, but he managed to fool the police too.
'Its unbelievable what he has done, my daughter is absolutely devastated.
'He should have got at least three years for what he's done.
'Even when they got married he was saying he was ill because of his cancer treatment, the amount of lies he has told have been harrowing.
'It has just felt like the lies are never ending and this will stay with my daughter and her children for the rest of their lives.'
A spokesperson from Leicestershire Police, said: 'It is the role of the police service and of every man and woman who serves as a police officer, to uphold the law.
'This individual has let down both his former colleagues and the community that he had served by being involved in criminal activity.'
Labels: Leicester, Michael Matts, police