Australian woman jailed after 'despicably' faking cancer treatment in order to fund party lifestyle

A court in Melbourne heard how Hanna Dickenson had needed money to further fund a party lifestyle.

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A 24-YEAR-OLD Australian woman has been jailed for three months for conning donations from family and friends after faking illness.

Melbourne Magistrates Court heard how Hanna Dickenson had been living a party lifestyle, involving drugs, alcohol, and international holidays, and had run out of money, 9news Australia reports.

Dickenson, a real estate agent, convinced her parents and doctors that she had been undergoing clinical trials for cancer treatment. In reality there was no such treatment. In total she received $42,000 from family friends.

Her parents gave her the money to fund said ‘treatment’. When this proved insufficient, they turned to their friends for help.

One couple, Nathan and Rachel Cue, took money from their mortgage to help their friends after being told Dickenson needed $40,000 Australian dollars as she had only six weeks to live.

Cancer survivor

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.

Her duplicity eventually came crashing down when one of her victims viewed her Facebook profile, only to be confronted with multiple photos of a party lifestyle.

The presiding magistrate David Starvaggi said Dickenson’s conduct “tears at the very strings of human nature” and described it as “despicable”.

“People’s desire to assist and social trust has been breached. These are people who worked hard and dug into their own pockets,” he said.

It smacks of a Walter Mitty lifestyle.

Comparisons were made between Dickenson’s crime and that of health blogger Belle Gibson, who was fined $410,000 last year after falsely claiming to have survived brain cancer.

Dickenson’s lawyer Beverley Lindsay had argued her client should not be jailed since Gibson had received no prison time.

Starvaggi disagreed, saying the cases were not directly comparable. He jailed Dickenson for three months and issued her with a 12-month community corrections order.

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