Published: 06:00, 13 August 2020
| Updated: 16:35, 17 August 2020
A woman has revealed how her manipulative boyfriend faked a cancer diagnosis to stop her leaving him.
Council worker Kevin Bevis, 38, lied about being terminally ill so his partner, Karen Gregory, from West Malling, would stay with him, even asking her to travel with him to a London hospital and taking medication daily, which turned out to be vitamins.
Family, friends and colleagues were also taken in by Bevis, with some sponsoring a run he took part in for cancer charities.
The charade came to an end when Miss Gregory bravely went to the police after he became violent.
On Tuesday, Bevis, a father-of-three who worked for Gravesham Borough Council housing department and also managed local amateur football teams, was jailed for 18 months after admitting controlling Miss Gregory and assaulting her twice.
Miss Gregory, 50, said: "It's hard because people on the outside think 'how can you be so stupid' but he went to such lengths."
The mother-of-three met Bevis through a Facebook group in 2016 and she was initially attracted to him after seeing pictures of him doing a charity head shave and walk.
"I thought he must be a nice person, it just goes to show," Miss Gregory said.
At first, Bevis, of Woodside Gardens, Sittingbourne, behaved like a "gentleman".
"He was really nice, he acted like a gentleman and was old fashioned, it made a change really, " Miss Gregory said.
'He was really nice, he acted like a gentleman and was old fashioned...'
After three months, however, she tried to break up with him because they were incompatible and because of his "sexual urges".
"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."
Bevis' persistence and refusal to take no for an answer were a sign of things to come.
In 2018, he told her he had stomach cancer.
"I was speechless, he said 'aren't you going to give me a cuddle?' And then the cancer got worse and worse."
Miss Gregory had just started spending a lot more time with her teenage daughter, and she believes Bevis wanted more attention.
She would drive him to his supposed chemotherapy appointments, but he wouldn't let her come in and support him.
"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."
Bevis would take 20 pills a day, as part of the act.
Miss Gregory also travelled up to Guy's St Thomas' Hospital in London so her boyfriend could 'see a consultant' but again was prohibited from coming in with him.
To be even more convincing, Bevis purposefully wouldn't eat much at the home they shared together and used the cancer as an excuse not to cook.
'I was standing next to him as he broke the news to his mum and dad...'
"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?
"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," Miss Gregory said.
Bevis escalated the 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.
She booked special nights away and experience days. 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.
"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.'"
She would have to help him walk around the garden using a cane because he claimed to be too weak to stand unaided, and even pretended to collapse in front on the neighbours, when Miss Gregory was out.
'How can you leave someone who is dying? I thought I would try and make it the best I could for him...'
The deceit continued, and Miss Gregory stood on the sidelines cheering Bevis on as he completed the Canterbury Half Marathon and Great South Run, even though she begged him not to take part in the events.
She believed he had overcome tremendous pain to do so.
She says he even raised money for a cancer charity when he took part in the Great South Run.
He stopped running three miles before the finish line in Canterbury, telling a fellow runner who supported him past the finishing line about his supposed illness.
Bevis assaulted her several times, 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.
Later, he 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, under Claire's Law and encouraged by her daughter, asked the police about her partner's background.
In a meeting she told the police he was violent and Bevis was arrested the next day.
"I could kill you, I've got nothing to live for...'
When arrested, he admitted to lying about his illnesses, after police looked through his medical records.
Miss Gregory found out about the deceit over the phone.
"I couldn't believe it, it was like something you read in a magazine," she said.
At Maidstone Crown Court this week Ghulam Humayun, defending, said Bevis was very sorry for taking an "extreme measure" by claiming cancer because he feared losing his girlfriend.As well as a prison sentence, he was given a five year restraining order to keep away from Miss Gregory.
Miss Gregory says she wants people to know how much help was offered to her after the revelation, from the police and witness and victim support.
More than six months since the relationship ended, she 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.
Bevis had been with Gravesham council since October 2018.
Stuart Bobby, chief executive of Gravesham council, said: “We were shocked and surprised at the news that Kevin Bevis had been faking his supposed illness for some considerable time. He deceived us in the same way he deceived his family and loved ones, to whom we extend our deepest sympathies.
“I know I speak on behalf of all of his colleagues when I say we are angry and disappointed at his actions. We feel let down that our support and compassion for someone we believed to be tackling a debilitating condition with bravery and determination was so badly misplaced.”