Melissa Quinn after her last court appearance.
Melissa Quinn after her last court appearance. Marc Stapelberg

Crunch time for cancer fraudster's appeal

A CASINO cancer fraudster has had an appeal against her sentence dismissed.

Melissa Irene Quinn, wept with her head in her hands as Judge Wells handed down her decision before Lismore District Court this morning.

The 35-year-old mother of four, who was supported by her husband in court, was earlier this year sentenced to two years prison with a nine month non-parole period.

This was for four counts of dishonestly obtaining an advantage by deception, which related to a total of more than $45,000 in funds raised due to support her fake treatment.

She immediately began appealing this sentence, and had remained on bail since then.

Quinn's defence barrister Ben Cochrane had argued Ms Quinn's facticious disorder - which can lead to falsified illnesses - and PTSD had "materially contributed to her offending". 

But Crown prosecutor Alanna Coxon had, in her submissions, pointed to the Ms Quinn's recorded interview with police.

This came before her multiple psychological reports were prepared.

To police, Quinn acknowledged her offending had been entirely deceptive.

Judge Wells said Quinn's "expression of remorse made to police in the interview" was "sadly, to some extent undone by the change of the account which she gave to expert witnesses".

Judge Wells said she was convinced Quinn's original sentence, which was handed down by Magistrate David Heilpern before Casino Local Court, was fitting for her crimes.

"The sentence is an appropriate one," she said.

"The appeal is dismissed."  

More details to come.

Quinn will be released on parole on August 29 next year and has been ordered to repay the fraudulently raised funds. 



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