Dana Twidale also asked a Tinder match to send her money to pay for her mum’s funeral
A greedy wedding planner who conned happy couples out of thousands of pounds has been jailed.
Dana Twidale, 44, from Hull, scammed brides and grooms across Yorkshire who thought they were paying her for services for the best day of their lives.
Twidale admitted 26 counts of fraud by false representation totalling about £60,000, during an earlier hearing before magistrates.
One couple ordered wedding decorations from Twidale, but they were never delivered, reports Hull Live.
Following accusations that she was a fraudster, Twidale was seen sunning it in Benidorm and later working in a Hull takeaway.
One couple 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 thinking of the good things I am constantly reminded what she put us through.”
Another couple told how they had paid £550 to Twidale for decorations, only to be told of the fraud the night before their nuptials by a photographer who had seen rumours about Twidale on social media.
They described how they were devastated and relied on borrowing money from family members to pay for the services for their wedding.
Twidale was finally jailed for five years on Monday at Hull Crown Court.
The court also heard how she had lied to a man she met on Tinder, Nigel Wainwright, claiming she was the victim of domestic violence and begged him for money to pay for her mum’s funeral.
During this twisted attempt to get money out of him in 2018, Twidale even sent a picture of herself with a black eye to Mr Wainwright – but later admitted it was makeup.
Mr Wainwright took out nine loans, adding up to £20,210 in October and November that year.
In December the same year, Mr Wainwright sent her £300 and borrowed £3,000 from his own mum to pay for a headstone for Twidale’s mother – who was actually alive and well.
When she was arrested, Twidale told police she had got into debt with her business and turned to gambling where she was “chasing her losses.”
Hull EuroJournal / MEN Media)
During the sentencing, she apologised to her victims, and told the court through her barrister “that the word sorry means nothing and she accepts that because what’s done is done.”
As he jailed her for five years, Judge Mark Bury said: “It is a minor miracle it seems to me that none of these weddings were completely ruined but it has blighted their days.
“For a bride it is one of the best days of their lives which was badly affected by you.”
Sentencing Twidale, judge Mark Bury said: “Those frauds, 24 of them in total, amount to something in the order of £15,000.
“Not, in the grand scheme of things, a large amount of money, but to each and every one of those victims it meant a lot.
“The majority of them had saved and scrimped, gone without, to pay you to make their day special and you went off to Spain with the money, or to the local bookmakers I imagine.”
Reacting to Twidale’s sentence, 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.”