Evil marriage scammer claimed his own mother was dead and duped couples out of thousands
An evil marriage con artist claimed her own mother died in a desperate attempt to cheat money from a man she met on dating app Tinder.
Dana Twidale’s vile scams, 44, have seen several newlyweds across the UK swindle thousands of pounds.
The mother has ruined countless marriages after accepting money for her services before disappearing, with Twidale even flying to Spain in an attempt to escape authorities.
On July 5, Twidale was sentenced to five years in prison at Hull Crown Court, with Judge Bury hailing her actions as “shameful”, according to Yorkshire Live.
Twidale pleaded guilty to 26 counts of fraud, the offenses having been committed between August 21, 2017 and July 17, 2019. Her victims were married couples and ex-boyfriends, with Twidale even being accused of scamming her. own partner.
Now, for the first time, the true extent of his deception has been laid bare in court.
Lying about her mother’s death to her ex-boyfriend
Twidale’s first scam saw her target a man who believed he was in a romantic relationship with her.
Nigel Wainwright took on Twidale on Tinder in September 2018 – just two months after his father died who left him feeling weak and vulnerable.
Twidale exploited his vulnerable nature to trick him into over £ 40,000.
She claimed to have suffered domestic violence and mock injuries, including a black eye that she later admitted to wearing makeup on.
In another twisted lie, Twidale even claimed that her own mother had died in order to extract money from Wainwright.
She said she needed the money to pay for her mother’s funeral, with Wainwright borrowing £ 3,000 from her own mother to pay for the gravestone.
Dale Brook, prosecuting, said: “It was all completely false and the claim that her mother died was particularly cunning and heinous because her mother was alive and well.
“The reason he continued to provide money was because the defendant had assured him that she owed £ 29,000 and that she would reimburse him.”
In 10 months, Wainwright gave him £ 42,000.
In total, Twidale has pleaded guilty to more than 20 counts of fraud, with offenses ranging from August 21, 2017 to July 17, 2019.
The majority of them concern innocent newlyweds whom she made to pay for services that never materialized.
The court heard that a couple who were to be married paid Twidale £ 2,470 to organize their wedding, which included a marquee.
Three days before their wedding, they discovered that the marquee, tables and chairs for their big day had not been delivered.
At the time, Twidale was on vacation in Spain. Mr Brook said: “The respondent told them the items would arrive the next day, but nothing happened. The respondent stopped responding to their calls and messages.”
Another couple lost their honeymoon after paying Twidale £ 620 for services that never arrived.
Their statement, which was read in court, said: “Your wedding day is the biggest day of your life and something you should be able to look forward to.
“I look back and rather think of the good things, I constantly remember what she put us through. Unfortunately, due to the extra costs, we had to sacrifice our honeymoon.”
A couple who paid Twidale £ 550 for wedding decorations only learned of the fraud the day before their wedding day.
“They were contacted by the photographer who alerted them to the complaints on social media and that the accused allegedly made a runner.”
The couple described how devastated they were and had to borrow money from family members to pay for their wedding services.
How Twidale was arrested and her previous crimes
When Twidale, of Newtown Court, Hull, was arrested, she told police she had gone into debt with her business and turned to gambling and “was chasing her losses.”
For many months his victims feared they would never get justice and there was a lot of anger when photos from his vacation in Spain emerged.
It was later found that she had fled to Spain as she began to face social media backlash for her crimes.
Brook said: “She left for Spain because of the social media aspect and to run away and hope to avoid it.”
Twidale asked the victims to put money into his daughter’s account because Mr Wainwright had “cottoned” on his fraudulent crimes and filed a complaint with the bank which froze Twidale’s account.
Twidale told police she turned to Wainwright “out of desperation” and regretted saying her mother had died. After finding out, she tried to cover herself up by saying that it was her mother-in-law who had passed away.
Twidale has two previous convictions for four theft offenses committed in 1999.
Twidale fraudulently obtained around £ 15,000 through his wedding planning scam.
Michele Staurt-Lofthouse, who defended Twidale in court, offered little mitigation on behalf of her client, with Hull’s mother apologizing to every couple she scammed.
Ms Stuart-Lofthouse said: “The words she wrote in the many documents for me include how sorry she is for all of the couples involved in her offense.
“She also says that the word sorry doesn’t mean anything and she accepts it because what’s done is done.
“She accepts that she took advantage of everyone involved and reminded me again that she doesn’t want any forgiveness. She knows they can’t forgive her and that it’s not enough to apologize.”
After Twidale’s jail sentence was confirmed, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) issued a statement condemning Twidale and confirming how much money it will reimburse its victims.
Nigel Wray of the CPS said: “Twidale is a manipulative and callous criminal. She invented highly calculating and emotional lies to gain the trust and sympathy of her victims, in order to persuade them to part with their money.
“She also cruelly defrauded numerous clients and suppliers of her wedding planning business.
“She has now been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay back a total of £ 57,791. I hope this will reassure his victims.
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