Former Hockeyroo Kate Hubble has pleaded guilty to defrauding a cancer charity after she pretended to be terminally ill with cancer.
While falsely claiming to be too sick to work, for more than two years Hubble's $73,000 salary at cancer charity Redkite continued to be provided by a sympathetic Perth benefactor whose own daughter had died of cancer.
Hubble pleaded guilty to four charges of making and using false documents to obtain a financial benefit in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court on Monday.
According to the statement of facts, the former goal keeper for the Australian hockey team had forged a series of medical certificates and letters from oncologists and other doctors in Sydney and Perth to support her claims that she had cancer.
In 2014, the 32-year-old started working as a team co-ordinator in the Perth office of Redkite, a charitable organisation that offers support and counselling to cancer sufferers and their families.
In early 2015, Hubble told her work colleagues that she had been diagnosed with cancer and was too ill to work. Forged medical letters from a Perth oncologist supported her claims.
Towards the end of 2015 Hubble requested a transfer to Redkite's Sydney office on compassionate grounds.
A forged letter from an oncologist at Perth's Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital suggested that she had been under the care of Dr Siobhan Ng since March 2014 and had undergone a 10-week cycle of chemotherapy in October 2015.
Concerns about her fitness to travel to Sydney were addressed in a forged letter from Dr Ng, which stated that Hubble "is more that capable of travelling within Australia at this time".
However, as the months went on Hubble's colleagues in Redkite's Sydney office became suspicious.
In January this year she sent a text message to a work colleague saying her chances of survival were poor and that "I've run out of options".
On March 17 a text message, supposedly from Hubble's friend "Jess" was sent from Hubble's mobile phone. The message stated Hubble was in surgery and that her heart had stopped twice and that she had broken ribs.
Hubble sent a text on the same day claiming a portion of her liver and a tumour from her kidney had been removed.
Two days later further texts claimed small tumours on her pancreas had been removed and that her heart had stopped for 30 seconds and later for four minutes.
With no treatment "I might get 6 months," she texted a work colleague.
On May 5 her heart again stopped twice after surgery, she told colleagues.
On May 13 "Jess" texted from hospital to say Hubble was in intensive care, unconscious and breathing through a tube.
Redkite received a bizarre letter from her GP on June 27. "In the case of her fainting at work, care should be provided to her according to the seriousness of the injuries she sustains," the letter said.
It also suggested that should Hubble fall and "receive a head injury ... an ambulance should be called immediately".
Three weeks later another letter arrived, once again purporting to be from her GP. This time it was to alert Redkite that Hubble was commencing "immunotherapy treatment" that would be "intravenously administered every three weeks, over the next 6 months".
The letter suggested that in order to minimise the risk of infection Hubble should be allowed to work from home at her own discretion. If she did come into work, Hubble was to be provided with "separate bathroom facilities".
Hubble will be sentenced on Friday. Investigations by West Australian police are continuing.
Comment was sought from Redkite.