Couple speak of heartache as dream wedding ruined by evil Dana Twidale while police warn there could be more victims

She conned her victims out of nearly £60,000 of their hard-earned savings, and now police have revealed there could be many more brides and grooms across the country who have been deceived by heartless Yorkshire wedding scammer Dana Twidale.

Detective Constable Angela Aylifee, of Humberside Police, said: "This accounts only for victims who made reports to the police from across the country, there may be other victims who fell prey to Dana but who did not report their incidents to the police."

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Twidale preyed on 24 couples looking for wedding services for their special day, knowing she had no intention to provide the services they paid for.

Jason and Nicky Asquith-Thorpe, of Harrogate, had instructed Twidale to help them with the wedding of their dreams, planned for July 27, 2019.

Jason and Nicky Asquith-Thorpe, of Harrogate, had instructed Twidale to help them with the wedding of their dreams, planned for July 27, 2019.

Mrs Asquith-Thorpe, 34, had found out about Twidale's wedding services online and arranged to meet her. Impressed by her professional demeanour and competitive pricing, she booked a wedding package costing just over £2,000 which included a marquee, tables, chairs and food for 100 guests for their reception at Harrogate Railway Football Club.

Just two days before their wedding and when the couple had arranged to meet at their venue, Twidale vanished leaving their big day in tatters and thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Thankfully, with the help of their family, friends, and local community who rallied around them, the wedding did go ahead with a reception at a church hall.

Dana Twidale was jailed for five years earlier this week after she pleaded guilty to a total of 26 counts of fraud, totalling £57,971.

Read More

Read More
Yorkshire woman who had to watch husband die and lose her own home conned out of...

"We appreciate all the help we got from everyone who helped us, but personally I will never look back and think that was the happiest day of my life because it was just so incredibly stressful."

As well as targeting bride and grooms, Twidale also conned a vulnerable man, who was grieving the death of his father, out of £42,000 after meeting him on online dating app Tinder, claiming she was a victim of domestic abuse.

She also targeted a woman following the death of her son. After learning that the woman 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. The woman gave Twidale just over £650 of her money.

Detective Constable Ayliffe said: "Dana Twidale was cold, calculated and adept at portraying empathy to her victim’s which, in truth, was false and a means to obtain more financially from her victims. She gave no thought to the effect her lies and actions had on her victims, she was callous."

Over the past 12 months, a total of £13.7 million has been lost by people living in the Humberside Police area, with over 7,700 cases of fraud reported to the force.

During the Covid-19 pandemic the force has seen an increase in the number of fraudulent messages, with criminals taking advantage of people spending more time at home, shopping online and looking for love. Fraudsters have also prayed on the increase in anxiety and worry that many people have experienced over the past sixteen months.

In the past few weeks alone, the force has seen examples of several unsolicited messages received through mobile phones. One message appeared to be from a bank, warning of a possible fraud, another message appeared to be an invitation to book a covid vaccination.

Detective Sergeant Ben Robinson said: “Without doubt the pandemic has created a perfect storm that has presented criminals with many opportunities to target vulnerable people.

"We’re not just talking about the elderly or those that aren’t ‘tech savvy’, 18-24 year-old's are spending on average well over four hours a day online, this often leaves them distracted and susceptible to fraudulent behaviour as well.

"We want people to join our fraud awareness group and share details of suspicious or fraudulent messages so that others have the confidence to spot the signs and report things to the relevant agencies.”