An Illawarra criminal who falsely claimed he was dying of prostate cancer penned a series of sham medical reports that appeared so authentic they fooled two Supreme Court judges and two Local Court magistrates.
Steven Fraser, also known as Steven Parker, wove his extraordinary tale of deceit for more than three years, producing nine fake reports which he used in four different court proceedings to bolster his chances of getting favourable outcomes.
The reports, purportedly written by three different doctors and printed on letterhead from their respective organisations, outlined Fraser's diagnosis and his need for specialised treatment which couldn't be provided if he was in jail.
Some of the documents also estimated his life expectancy, claiming he had between "7 and 18 months" to live.
He used the documents to get bail in the NSW Supreme Court twice - once in June 2015 and again in January 2016 - as well as lenient sentences in Local Court cases at Campbelltown in December 2015 and Nowra in November 2017.
My state of mind was affected through the chemotherapy drugs and the Leukeran that I was taking for my cancer.
The scam was only uncovered in early 2018 when Fraser appealed his prison sentence for the Nowra matter, again claiming Justice Health - the medical arm of Corrective Services - couldn't give him the treatment he needed.
"I'm required to undergo medications which require oversight by specialists and I'm told that they [Justice Health] don't have the specialists available to me and the time available to me to have me transferred to and from hospital being [classified as] an escapee," he told Judge Andrew Haesler during the appeal.
However, Judge Haesler,a prominent public defender for many years before he became a judge and who knows the justice and corrections systems well, questioned the 50-year-old's account.
He said it was "very strange" that medical treatment couldn't be provided as outlined and questioned if Fraser's information was genuine and correct.
He said he'd never heard of a situation where Justice Health was not able to provide medical treatment in custody and adjourned the case for urgent clarification from the organisation.
Justice Health confirmed not only were Fraser's reports fake, but one of the doctor's purported to have penned some of them - a Dr Chandra - had never worked for them.
The Mercury understand Frasers has never had cancer.
A subsequent police investigation revealed the extent of the fraud and Fraser was charged with perverting the course of justice.
He denied the allegations and had been due to stand trial in Wollongong District Court this week but entered last-minute guilty pleas in a deal with prosecutors.
An agreed set of facts tendered to the court said Fraser was in custody on unrelated matters when he sought release on bail in the NSW Supreme Court in June 2015. His lawyers presented two medical reports in support of his bail application that appeared to have been authored the previous month by Dr Chandra and a Dr Elliot.
Both were written on letterhead containing the official Health, Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network logo and said Fraser had been diagnosed with prostate cancer that required "specialist urology and oncology and ongoing pharmacology treatment unavailable to [Fraser] in custody".
Justice Geoffrey Bellew granted Fraser bail on account of his "added health problem".
Meanwhile, Fraser tendered the Dr Chandra report along with another report from a Dr Lalak at Macarthur Urology during sentencing proceedings in Campbelltown Local Court on December 2015.
The Dr Lalak report said Fraser had prostate cancer and secondary testicular cancer which required urgent attention which could not be provided in custody.
Magistrate Robert Rabbidge took pity on Fraser and reduced his non-parole period to just two months, saying "I note what Dr Lalak has to say and one might think the quality of life is much reduced now if not the length of life. Given that and the clear need to be with family during the closing phases of the gentleman's life then we should show some compassion".
The Dr Lalak report was later found to be a fake.
Meanwhile, Fraser found himself before the Supreme Court again in early 2016 seeking bail on fresh offences.
He used the same reports along with "updated" medical documents supposedly from Dr Chandra to better his chances of being released.
They claimed Fraser had between 7 and 18 months to live without the necessary treatment, which was unavailable to him in custody.
Justice Lucy McCallum granted Fraser bail on the basis of the medical material.
Fraser produced further false reports for a sentencing hearing over break-in charges in Nowra in November 2017.
Fraser confirmed the content of the new reports in court and blamed his illegal behaviour in part on his cancer drugs, which he said he was unable to get in custody.
"My state of mind was affected through the chemotherapy drugs and the Leukeran that I was taking for my cancer," he told Magistrate Gabriel Fleming.
"I'm in 23-hour lock down and I don't have access to medical.
"I don't have access to the hospital down at Long Bay [jail]...I can't have access to specialists here.
"I would certainly ask your Honour....that if possible could I have a short non-parole period.....and a larger head sentence so that I may get out and seek treatment earlier."
He was sentenced to five years' jail with a three-year non-parole period, with Magistrate Fleming finding he had shown special circumstances to warrant a reduction in his sentence due to his poor health.
Fraser's subsequent appeal of that sentence blew the lid on his trail of deception.
He remains behind bars and will face a Sydney court in February for sentencing.