SUTTON Academy says a support staff member who cheated kind-hearted donors out of £19,000 by pretending she had skin cancer has hurt pupils, teachers and the community.

Keera Brayford, of Cedar Road, Whiston, who was a cover supervisor at Sutton Academy, set up a Just Giving page, despite not having the disease.

She even fooled her own parents and other relatives into believing that she has the disease – so she could use the charity donations to pay off debts.

The 25-year-old escaped immediate jail time after a judge at Liverpool Crown Court sentenced her to two years' imprisonment, suspended for two years.

She also has been given a year long house detention with a curfew between 7pm to 6am – with “no holidays, no nights out with your friends for the next year” – and ordered her to carry out 35 days rehabilitation activities.

To carry out her deceit, Miss Brayford faked sick notes and hospital appointments, but the school bosses became suspicious and found that she had been using a computer at the school to manufacture the bogus medical notes and appointments and her web of lies began to untangle.

Sutton Academy head teacher Alison Sherman said: "Miss Brayford was a member of the support staff at the academy. It is impossible to understand what led her to such deception.

"Her behaviour has hurt not only our staff and students but also our wider community and we will endeavour to provide any necessary emotional support to those affected."

The court heard how Brayford increased her fund raising target from £10,000 to £16,000 but her attempts to claim the £10,515 donations were rejected by Just Giving.

But donations by four individuals, totalling, £8,722, were paid directly to her and have not been returned to the duped donors.

Children, staff and members of the community had come together to raise funds for Brayford, with many expressing their shock following her sentencing.

Reacting to the news on Facebook, Jenna Simnor said: "I’m actually livid with this. My little girl was heartbroken when she found out Keera wasn’t well, she even took it upon herself to raise funds for her.

"My daughter's decision and at nine years of age it humbled me that she came up with the idea. She did a sponsored walk and also a dance-a-thon.

"I then had to explain to my daughter it was a lie. My poor daughter apologised for not being able to get the money back for the people that sponsored her.

"She thought it was her fault and cried herself to sleep that night.

"This country's justice system is an absolute joke, she basically got paid £19k for a 7pm curfew for a year.

"She should be made to pay every single penny back and community service at least if not going to jail.

"What example is this judgement setting to our society and kids? Unbelievable."

Lesley Hill added: "Unbelievable, don’t get why anyone of a sound mind would wanna make out they had cancer.

"Genuine people who suffer from this dreadful disease will tell you it’s no joke having to live with it going through horrendous treatments and in some cases being diagnosed as terminal."

Lorraine Bradshaw said: "My daughter and most of her friends were fooled by her lies. She couldn't believe it when she found out. It's shocking."

Brayford pleaded guilty to fraud between March 1 and September this year and had four similar offences taken into consideration.

Amy Butler, defending, said that Brayford had thought she had cancer but had not had it diagnosed except by looking on-line and self-diagnosing,

She has since been receiving medication from her doctor for her ailments, including a seriously inflamed bowel, and it is thought she has an auto-immune disease.

She said she is remorseful and wants to pay back the money. She was suspended by the school and then resigned and is currently unemployed receiving disability payments.