'Wicked' wedding planner con artist, 44, pleads guilty to fraud
A wedding planner conwoman who fleeced lovestruck men out of thousands of pounds before vanishing for two years is to face justice for her crimes.
Fraudster Dana Twidale, 44, fleeced brides-and-grooms-to-be out of their wedding savings before disappearing without a trace.
She also conned dates out of money - including one man who she scammed for £10,000 to pay for her mother's funeral, despite the fact her mother was still alive.
After going on the run, she was eventually spotted sunning herself in Benidorm, Spain, and also reportedly in Tenerife after going on the run.
But in May last year she was back in Britain and was seen working in takeaway shops in the Humberside area.
Now the law has finally caught up with Twidale, who last week pleaded guilty to 26 counts of fraud.
She will be sentenced at Hull Crown Court next month.
Couples across Yorkshire previously revealed how they were conned by wedding planner Mrs Twidale.
One bride said she had paid 'well over £2,000' to the former wedding planner and was left distraught when she turned up to find an empty marquee two days before her wedding.
Police and the reporting agency Action Fraud began to investigate Ms Twidale, 42, after complaints from engaged couples, catering and event hire firms and DJs.
A number of love-struck men also say the mother-of-four defrauded them out of large sums.
One man, 45, says he lost £4,000 to her. And another suitor who met her via the Tinder dating app claimed he gave her £10,000 for her mother's funeral – only to find out that her mother was still alive.
The news of her guilt has come as a relief to many - none more so than her estranged husband Carl Twidale who had to fight to clear his name after he was accused of knowing about her wicked behaviour.
Speaking two years ago when the allegations came to light, Carl said: 'It was numbing to read about all the scams and I can't believe she has done this.
'When I first met her she was lovely, bubbly and you just wanted to be around her. Everybody would say the same but it seems that was all part of the act.
'There are no words. She is just wicked and it's twisted - you can't do the things she has done.
'It's one thing scamming people but preying on their vulnerabilities is just wrong.
'I've started to question now if I ever really knew who she was. She was my wife but I just don't know her anymore.'
Carl, who is 47 and lives in Hull, has been estranged from Dana for four years.
Now, he wants to divorce her for good so they are no longer associated by name and he can make a fresh start with his new girlfriend.
Carl told Yorkshire Live: 'I've talked to my solicitor and sent letters out to her mum's, her boyfriend's house, her flat and I've had nothing back.
'She doesn't seem to be signing it even though we've got no property, kids or money between us. There is nothing tying us together - just the last name.
'Maybe she is trying to get all this done under Twidale so she can then go back to her previous names.
'It's very frustrating and I don't want it to impact my future.'
In a direct plea to Dana, who allegedly has a new boyfriend, Carl said: 'Let me go and just let it go.
'She has caused so much heartache to everybody and I would love to speak to her boyfriend to ask him why she hasn't signed the paperwork.'
Carl says he has been contacted by other men who claim to have been in a relationship with Dana over the past few years.
He said: 'They've all said how she leads them on strong and she tells them she loves them to bits.'
Carl has not heard from Dana since she moved out of his flat. They have been estranged for years and he faced threats when she was initially accused of fraud in 2019.
'It has been really tough,' he said. 'I've lived my life in the darkness with no lights on and it has been tough.
'I've had threats and I've had to hide my car just in case but on the plus side I've had other victims say 'we know you had no involvement and we want to stay friends'.'
Carl, who is keen to see a counsellor after a traumatic couple of years, wants to attend the sentencing at Hull Crown Court next month.
He will accept whatever punishment the judge passes but is keen to see justice served for the multiple victims of fraud.
'I've seen what people have said and they will want her to get jail time,' he said. 'I don't have a bad bone in my body and if she does jail time, she does jail time - that is up to the judge and I'm not going to say she should go down for life or anything but hopefully justice will prevail.
'I'm looking forward to going to court and I want her to see that I'm not affected and not bothered anymore.'
Reference: James Robinson for MailOnline