Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

Australian woman jailed over faking terminal cancer for donations

Australian woman jailed over faking terminal cancer for donations

The 24-year-old Australian woman used the reported $42,000 she took in for vacations and socializing instead of receiving the overseas medical treatment she alleged she'd needed, according to the BBC.

Dickenson's scam was only discovered when a donor saw pictures of her on Facebook and raised suspicions with the police.

The court was told one person donated $7,750 to Dickenson after being discharged from hospital following his own cancer treatment.

He contacted police who then identified a number of other victims.

Magistrate David Starvaggi described her behaviour as "despicable".

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"There's been a request for financial assistance in circumstances where it had been purported that Ms Dickenson had very few options left", Starvaggi said.

He added: 'People's desire to assist and social trust has been breached.

Dickenson's lawyer, Beverley Lindsay, had earlier urged the magistrate not to jail her client, comparing her offending to that of fake wellness blogger Belle Gibson.

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

Gibson chronicled her battle with cancer on a blog, The Whole Pantry, which spawned an app and recipe book.

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They exclusively told A Current Affair Hanna would visit their home and spend time with their children, sometimes complaining of her ill health while she was there. "To send her to prison now sends her backwards".

"I couldn't think of a worse case to manifest itself needing both specific and general deterrence".

Dickenson, a real estate agent, pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court to seven charges of obtaining property by deception, the Herald Sun reported.

Ms Lindsay said her client was likely to appeal the sentence.

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