A council worker faked cancer to stop his girlfriend from leaving him, even walking with a cane and guzzling vitamin pills as daily "medication."
Kevin Bevis, 38, lied about being terminally ill to convince Karen Gregory, 50, to stay with him, even asking her to travel with him to hospital for fake treatment.
The dad-of-three, who worked for Gravesend Borough Council housing department, also convinced her friends who sponsored him in a cancer charity run.
But his shocking deceit came to an end when Miss Gregory bravely went to the police after Bevis became violent and he was jailed for 18 months.
Miss Gregory was put off by his repeated requests to go swinging and was going to end the relationship when Bevis got 'cancer'.
Miss Gregory, from West Malling in Kent, said: "I just took his word for it. He was with me when I lost my auntie to cancer, how can anyone lie about such a thing?
"It's hard because people on the outside think 'how can you be so stupid?' but he went to such lengths."
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Bevis, from nearby Sittingbourne, would swallow 20 pills per day as part of the act.
Miss Gregory would drive him to supposed chemotherapy appointments who he would not allow to come in and support him.
She also helped Bevis walk around the garden using a cane because he claimed to be too weak to stand unaided.
He even pretended to collapse in front on the neighbours when his girlfriend was out.
Miss Gregory said: "He would say he didn't want me seeing him like that. I would pick him up and he would come out with bandages and tell me all about the nurses there.
"He would have the medication, a box of pills, throughout the day.
"I found out they were just vitamins and supplements. I found a big bag of tablets hidden in the shed when I was clearing out his things."
The pair initially met through a Facebook group in 2016 and things got off to a good start.
Miss Gregory was attracted to Bevis after seeing pictures of him doing a charity head shave and walk and said he behaved like a gentleman.
She said: "He was really nice. He acted like a gentleman and was old fashioned, it made a change really."
Three months into their relationship, Miss Gregory wanted to break things off with Bevis due to his "sexual urges" and them being incompatible.
She said: "He wanted to do swinging but I'm not into all that, so I thought it would be a problem. But he insisted he would never make me do any of that."
But he refused to take no for an answer and in May 2018, he told her he had stomach cancer.
Miss Gregory said: "I was speechless. He said 'aren't you going to give me a cuddle?' And then the cancer got worse and worse."
The mum-of-three had just started spending a lot more time with her teenager daughter and believes Bevis wanted more attention.
Miss Gregory travelled up to Guy's St Thomas' Hospital in London under the impression that Bevis could "see a consultant" but again was banned from coming in with him.
To be even more convincing, Bevis purposefully would not eat much at the home they shared together and used the cancer as an excuse not to cook.
The manipulator even lied to his parents about having the deadly disease in order to keep up the charade.
Miss Gregory said: "I was standing next to him as he broke the news to his mum and dad.
"If he can lie like that to his parents, you have got to believe it."
Bevis escalated his lies, first saying that he also had mouth cancer and later a brain tumour and that he would die in two years.
At this point, Miss Gregory had serious misgivings about their relationships but felt unable to leave him and began booking special experiences and nights away to make his last days better.
Her friends even paid for a hot air balloon trip and she started making a memory box full of photos for his mum to keep when Bevis died.
She said: "How can you leave someone who is dying? I thought I would try and make it the best I could for him."
"I did love him but I wasn't madly in love with him. A friend used to say to me, 'you don't love him, you care for him.'"
As the' lies continued, Miss Gregory stood on the sidelines cheering Bevis on as he completed the Canterbury Half Marathon and Great South Run, raising money for cancer charities.
She had begged Bevis not to take part in the events as she believed he had overcome tremendous pain to do so.
He stopped running three miles before the finish line in Canterbury, telling a fellow runner about his supposed illness.
Bevis repeatedly assaulted Miss Gregory, each time pinning her down and wrapping his hands around her throat.
The last time he said "I could kill you, I've got nothing to live for" in reference to the cancer.
He later blamed his violence on the steroids he claimed to be taking as part of his treatment.
The act came to an end in December 2019, when Miss Gregory asked the police about her partner's background under Claire's Law and encouraged by her daughter.
In a meeting, she told the police he was violent and Bevis was arrested the next day.
He admitted to lying about his illnesses after police looked through his medical records and Miss Gregory was told of the deceit on the phone.
She said: "I couldn't believe it. It was like something you read in a magazine."
Bevis was handed an 18-month prison sentence and a five-year restraining order to keep away from Miss Gregory at Maidstone Crown Court.
Ghulam Humayun, defending, said Bevis was very sorry for taking an "extreme measure" by claiming cancer because he feared losing his girlfriend.
More than six months since the relationship ended, Miss Gregory still has nightmares about Bevis and says she will probably get counselling.
She believes if she had never gone to the police, Bevis would still be lying to her now.
The courageous mum said she wants people to know how much help was offered to her from the police and witness and victim support after the revelation.