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Posted: Apr 10 2018, 07:05 PM
Group: Featured Blogers
Member No.: 17
Joined: 17-January 12
Rep: 143 pts
Woman who faked cancer, duped friends and neighbours, jailed for 'despicable' scam
By court reporter Emma Younger
Photo: Hanna Dickenson will lose her job in real estate, the court heard. (Little Real Estate)
A Melbourne woman who faked having terminal cancer and scammed $42,000 from her parents' friends and neighbours so she could maintain her partying lifestyle, has been jailed for three months.
Hanna Dickenson, 24, convinced her parents to give her money for supposedly lifesaving treatment in 2012 before later telling them she needed more funds for overseas treatments in Thailand and New Zealand.
Dickenson's parents, who run a farm near Swan Hill in Victoria's north-west, were struggling financially and asked neighbours and friends for money, according to court documents.
One of Dickenson's victims had just been discharged from hospital after undergoing his own cancer treatment when he was duped into transferring $10,000 to her for "urgent treatment" in March, 2013, the court heard.
Instead, Dickenson used the money to party with friends, abuse alcohol and drugs and go on overseas holidays.
But her charade was uncovered when another of Dickenson's victim's discovered photos on her Facebook profile which made him suspicious about her claims of ill health.
He contacted police who then identified a number of other victims.
Dickenson was sentenced to three months' jail and a 12-month community corrections order which will require her to do 150 hours of community work and undergo treatment for mental health issues and substance abuse.
Magistrate David Starvaggi described her behaviour as "despicable".
"There's been a request for financial assistance in circumstances where it had been purported that Ms Dickenson had very few options left," Mr Starvaggi said.
"The court must rightly deter others from engaging in this sort of conduct, taking advantage of people willing to assist and advance moneys to support somebody in what is perceived to be very tragic or dire consequences.
"Ms Dickenson has engaged in conduct that tears at the very heartstrings of human nature."
Dickenson's lawyer, Beverley Lindsay, had earlier urged the magistrate not to jail her client, comparing her offending to that of fake wellness blogger Belle Gibson.
Ms Gibson was fined more than $400,000 by the Federal Court for profiting off false claims she had brain cancer which had been cured by alternative therapies and nutrition.
Ms Lindsay argued Dickenson's offending was not as bad, as she had only asked her parents for money and had not been purporting to help other cancer sufferers.
"Yes she has harmed some people … she didn't ask them directly though," she said.
"She hasn't engaged in this behaviour for three years, she's been a model worker … she's turned her life around, she's proven that.
"To send her to prison now sends her backwards.
But the magistrate said he could not think of a "worse case … needing both specific deterrence and general deterrence".
"It beggars belief that she approached her parents for assistance purporting to be suffering from … grave ill health," he said.
Dickenson pleaded guilty to seven charges of obtaining property by deception.
The court heard she would lose her job as a property manager for Little Real Estate in Melbourne.
Dickenson's lawyer indicated she would appeal the sentence.
She got off lightly. If anyone scammed the government to the tune of $42.000 the sentence would be harsher.
“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
“All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.” - John Wooden
Posted: Apr 11 2018, 07:16 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 20-July 11
Rep: 47 pts
"She hasn't engaged in this behaviour for three years, she's been a model worker … she's turned her life around, she's proven that."
No mention of her reimbursing her victims.
Living In An Elected Dictatorship
Flin's opinions and comments reflect his perception of the facts and not necessarily reality
Posted: Apr 11 2018, 05:49 PM
Member No.: 3
Joined: 21-July 11
Rep: 66 pts
Everybody is Willing:
Some are willing to work, the rest are willing to let them!
The older I get, the better I was.