Woman who scammed $180,00 from nun and priest jailed

Angie Emma Walsh (ABC News)

An Adelaide woman who faked cancer to con a nun and priest into giving her thousands of dollars for treatment has been jailed for more than five years, ABC News reports.

Angie Emma Walsh, 40, has a long history of deception and dishonesty offences in South Australia and Western Australia and has received suspended sentences in the past for similar offending.

The court heard the offending against Sr Theresa Swiggs started in 2012, but that Walsh had been "grooming her" for a long time prior.

Sr Swiggs enlisted the help of her parish priest, Fr Bill Brady, and her biological sister to assist in funding the medical treatment Walsh claimed to need, giving her a total of $184,151 over two-and-a-half years. The court heard the nun's sister gave Walsh her life savings and also took out a loan.

Walsh pleaded guilty to 45 deception offences and three offences of dishonestly dealing with documents.

Magistrate Greg Fisher said Walsh had eroded the trust of good people and the wider community. He said the deception may have the unfortunate effect of preventing others from helping those genuinely in need.

"You are clearly a highly skilled liar and had Sr Swiggs convinced that you were gravely ill and desperately in need of money," Magistrate Fisher said.

"Her life has been ruined, she bears the shame of being deceived by you and the responsibility of exposing her sister and Fr Brady to you.

"Your exploitation of Sr Swiggs was a cruel abuse of the trust she placed in you and her genuine desire to help someone in need."

Magistrate Fisher revoked three suspended sentences Walsh had breached by committing the offending, totalling 37 months imprisonment. He imposed a new sentence of two years, nine months and 18 days for the latest offending, after giving Walsh discount for her guilty pleas.

The total sentence imposed was five years, 10 months and 18 days with a non-parole period of three years and six months.

Magistrate Fisher ordered Walsh to pay $20,000 compensation, the maximum that can be awarded by the Magistrates Court.


Woman who faked cancer to scam money from a nun and priest sent to jail (ABC News


Nun, priest left 'shattered' by $200,000 cancer scam (CathNews)

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