Swindling wedding planner sentenced to five years for multiple fraud offences
Dana Twidale, a former wedding planner, has been sentenced to five years in prison today at Hull Crown Court.
Twidale (44) defrauded a man she met online, along with her business partner and 24 customers and suppliers of her wedding planning business of almost £60,000. Twidale pleaded guilty to 26 counts of fraud at an earlier hearing.
The court heard that Twidale manipulated one man into parting with almost £43,000, falsely claiming that she was attempting to leave an abusive relationship, and that her mother had died and she had no money to pay for the funeral arrangements.
She then defrauded a second victim of £2,500 in relation to the setting up of a wedding planning business. Twidale initially approached this victim when she came to the funeral directors Twidale worked for, in order to make arrangements for the repatriation of her son’s body. After learning that this victim was about to receive a substantial sum of money, Twidale gained her confidence and proposed she invest £2,500 in a wedding planning business - claiming that her previous business partner had pulled out.
During the course of the business, Twidale defrauded 24 further victims who were customers of and suppliers to the business of sums ranging from £100 to £2,247.
She offered services to these couples which were not subsequently provided or never intended to be provided. Some of the couples had imminent wedding dates and suffered considerable disruption and worry because of the defendant’s actions.
Nigel Wray from the CPS said: "Twidale is a manipulative and callous criminal. She invented highly calculating and emotive lies to gain the trust and sympathy of her victims, in order to persuade them to part with their money.
"She also callously defrauded numerous clients and suppliers of her wedding planning business.
"She has now been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to repay a total of £57,791. I hope this is of some comfort to her victims."
Notes to editors
- Dana Twidale, D.o.B.: 30/5/77
- Nigel Wray is a Crown Advocate with CPS Yorkshire and Humberside.