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Jail for woman who convinced her friend to quit her company for a non-existent dream job

Helen Dove jailed for tricking friend Credit: ITV Granada

A woman who sent thousands of emails, posing as 15 different council workers, to trick her friend into thinking she'd landed her dream job has been jailed at Liverpool Crown Court.

Helen Dove, from St Helens, groomed Kimberley Baker, buying her gifts and helping her with childcare.

Knowing Kim wanted to work in children's mental health service, Dove dreamed up a job at Warrington Borough Council.

She sent out headed letters and contracts from the supposed employer. But everything about it was fake.

Some of the fake documentation Helen Dove produced Credit: Crown Prosecution Service

Kim gave up a career spanning almost two decades and was plunged into thousands of pounds worth of debt.

She was forced to to take out loans and even cancel her wedding.

The court estimated she'd lost around £50,000 by the fraud.

Dove gained nothing financially through her lies - why she did it remains a mystery.

Today at Liverpool Crown Court Helen Dove was sentenced to 2 years and 8 months in prison for two counts of fraud.

"The reason why Ms Dove chose to do any of this is still a mystery. She made no financial gain from it.

“She saw how her lies had made her friend become desperate and yet she did nothing to help her. She simply made it worse.

"She denied her wrongdoing until the start of the trial and had to be arrested on warrant to appear before the court. Finally she pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud.

"The Crown Prosecution Service would like to thank Kimberley McDonnell for her courage in helping us to bring this fraudster to justice and we hope that the successful end to this case helps Ms McDonnell move on with her life.”

– Victoria Colvin, Mersey Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service