New Idea



- By John Parrish

After Lucy Wieland was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the kind people of Townsville, QLD, opened their hearts, raising over $50,000.

What they didn’t know at the time was that Lucy was a scammer, lying to her friends, family and the wider community – her atrocious actions eventually landing her in prison.

One year on since Wieland was sensationa­lly jailed for stealing from those she loved the most, flatmate, Jamie Campbell, remembers the traumatic time when she thought her close friend was dying of a cruel disease – and why she thinks her former pal did it.

“The support was amazing,” Jamie tells New Idea. “The whole city was behind her.”

She believes the scam was designed so Wieland could hang onto Brad Congerton, her boyfriend at the time.

Jamie and Wieland met one another in December 2017.

“Brad was seeing Lucy casually and I was sharing his apartment,” she says. “Lucy and I became friends. She was absolutely besotted, never stopped talking about him.”

A soldier, Brad had lost mates overseas and he was vulnerable, Jamie explained.

“He just wanted a bit of fun, nothing serious, and he told me she was too keen,” she says. “I tried to warn her, but she wouldn’t listen.”

In March 2018, Wieland told Jamie she had ovarian cancer. “I burst into tears and hugged her. She said her chances were slim. It was awful. She was only 26.”

Wieland then told Brad he didn’t have to stick around.

“Being the man he is, he did,” Jamie confirms.

Overnight, their casual relationsh­ip became official, while Wieland documented her cancer battle for all to see on her social media pages.

“She was an absolute inspiratio­n,” says Jamie. “But there were times she broke down, like when she cried, saying she’d never have kids.”

Brad borrowed $5000 for egg harvesting, but the procedure failed. He borrowed another $17,000 for extra treatments while she struggled with chemothera­py.

“She spent days on the couch, unable to move and vomiting,” says Jamie. “There were tubes in her chest and her stomach for the drugs.

“I bought her flowers or little gifts, cooked and cleaned for her, got her anything she needed, and listened when she was upset. I wished I could do more.”

Deciding the couple needed space in the home they shared, Jamie moved out in August.

“Next time I saw her, she was using a walking stick and was bald. ‘Do I look bad?’ she asked. ‘Oh my God, Lucy,’ I choked up. She said she had six months. I was devastated.”

Meanwhile, her Gofundme page had raised tens of thousands of dollars. Wieland was constantly busy with medical appointmen­ts, so despite Jamie’s efforts, she didn’t see her for two months.

Then, in October, Wieland called. “She was upset because a woman on Instagram had called her a fake. I was outraged. I blasted the woman online. Lucy was grateful. ‘I knew you’d stick up for me,’ she said.”

A few days later, Jamie saw a story in her newsfeed reporting Wieland had been arrested for faking cancer, after an anonymous tip-off.

“I thought there’d been a terrible mistake,” Jamie recalls.

Unable to get hold of Brad or Wieland, she texted her, saying: “I don’t know what’s going on, but I support you.”

Then Jamie’s grandmothe­r called. “She’d heard the news and said when she met Lucy she’d complained about me,


saying I was always too busy to help, never cleaned and wouldn’t leave the apartment even though she and Brad wanted me out. I was shocked ... If she could lie about all that, I suddenly realised Lucy could lie about anything,” she says.

“Clearly she’d starved herself to lose weight, faked the vomiting and the appointmen­ts, shaved her head, and even stuck holes in her body for chemo tubes.”

Wieland was charged and at her trial last year, she admitted to fraud and possession of a restricted drug. Meanwhile, her donors lost over $50,000.

“Brad was shellshock­ed,” says Jamie. “We [thought she had] done it to try and hang on to him.”

Wieland was jailed for two years. But in a surprise twist, her lawyer revealed she was pregnant and she gave birth months into her sentence. She appealed her sentence last year, but it was dismissed in November.

“Lucy betrayed everyone, but especially women battling ovarian cancer. I don’t know how she sleeps at night.”

 ?? ?? Jamie Campbell (left) with former friend, Lucy Wieland.
Jamie Campbell (left) with former friend, Lucy Wieland.
 ?? ?? Wieland admitted to charges of fraud and possession of a restricted drug.
Wieland admitted to charges of fraud and possession of a restricted drug.
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 ?? ?? Lucy Wieland with then-boyfriend, Brad Congerton, who supported her before he knew her cancer story was a lie.
Lucy Wieland with then-boyfriend, Brad Congerton, who supported her before he knew her cancer story was a lie.

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