Australian woman jailed for scamming money by pretending to have cancer

Henrietta Brewer
April 12, 2018

Another person gave money on four separate occasions.

Court documents reveal Dickenson told her parents she was ill with leiomyosarcoma receiving treatments at the prestigious Peter McCallum Institute in Melbourne, and the Epworth Hospital as well.

Dickenson pleaded guilty to seven charges of obtaining property by deception.

Hanna Dickenson had raised NZ$43,976 since she was 19 by convincing friends and family she had a rare cancer called soft tissue sarcoma.

Dickenson had "engaged in conduct that tears at the very heartstrings of human nature", magistrate David Starvaggi said during her sentencing, the BBC reported.

"People's conscious desire to assist has been touched. that's the social trust". "These are people who worked hard and dug into their own pockets", he said.

Dickenson also took advantage of a cancer survivor and longtime family friend, Bill Sandbrook, who transferred $11,000 to her after finishing his own treatment.

It smacks of a Walter Mitty lifestyle.

Those donations, a total of more than $30,000 that the London Times says came from three different sources, ended up instead funding Dickenson's party lifestyle, including foreign vacations, which one suspicious donor eventually found proof of on Facebook.

The case has been likened to that of disgraced beauty and wellness blogger Belle Gibson, who built a successful business by claiming natural treatments helped her survive cancer.

Dickenson's lawyer, Beverley Lindsay, argued that her client should be spared jail because she had turned her life around' and said that they would likely appeal the sentence.

Describing the moment she asked them for money, they had said: "We are sitting here in the dining room and (the mother) comes over and says Hanna has six weeks to live, she's in palliative care. we need $40,000 desperately".

Other reports by iNewsToday