A socialite jailed for fraud in tearful scenes was brought undone by the most simple of checks after repeatedly emailing police excuses why she couldn’t see them.
Annabel Walker, 32, was locked up for 12 months without parole by a Sydney court last week, after pleading guilty to dishonesty and fraud charges worth $26,000.
Walker was already facing serious allegations when she tried her luck to avoid reporting to the police station for bail, court documents released this week said.
The former student at the elite Frensham boarding school flicked officers an email from her Hotmail account on June 22, a police fact sheet said.
Walker attached a document purportedly from the South Coast Private Hospital which claimed she had been admitted as a patient and therefore couldn’t come in.
It was the beginning of a spate of medical lies from Walker, court documents said.
Annabel Walker, 32, has been jailed for at least 12 months over what a magistrate called a ‘shocking’ spree of fraud related crimes. Court documents released this week shed light on how police caught her lying about being in hospital
Locked up: Walker, left and right, won’t be eligible for parole until next September. She grew up in the Southern Highlands before moving to Sydney’s glitzy eastern suburbs
Just seven days later, Walker sent police another email, with more hospital paperwork, claiming once again she couldn’t report for bail due to medical reasons.
The paperwork said she had been admitted to hospital as part of the ‘Managing Distress’ program run by psychiatrist Dr Puru Sagar. It meant she couldn’t meet officers for the entire final week of June or the second week of July.
Her claims raised police suspicions – given officers were well acquainted with her history of fraud – and it didn’t take much for them to unpick her web of lies.
Court facts said police spoke to a hospital employee on July 14, who confirmed Walker actually hadn’t been an inpatient there since 2018.
And while the doctor Walker had name-checked had indeed once been employed at the hospital, he actually hadn’t been on staff there for a couple of years.
To make matters worse, that same evening Walker made the foolish decision to try her luck with the hospital excuse for a third time, court documents said.
Very skeptical police received a document claiming she had once again been re-admitted to hospital and couldn’t attend the Southern Highlands police station.
Walker claimed she was repeatedly being admitted to the South Coast Private Hospital…
But police claimed the documents she was using were faked and she should have been here – at the Southern Highlands Police Station – reporting for bail
Socialite Annabel Walker’s email lies to the NSW Police Force
A statement of police facts detailed the Southern Highlands socialite’s emails to police about why she could not report for bail at the police station.
The court document said Walker sent NSW Police sent messages from her Hotmail account on the following dates:
‘On 22 June 2020, the accused sent police an email from email address email@example.com with an attached document allegedly created by Cassie M from South Coast Private Hospital.
‘The document related to the admission of the accused to South Coast Private Hospital for a number of dates from May 2020 to June 2020. The accused had spoken to police stating this is why she was unable to report for bail for the above conditions.’
On 29 June 2020, Walker is also accused of sending police a document from the same email address, which was also allegedly created by Cassie M.
‘The document related to the admission of the accused into South Coast Private Hospital for the Managing Distress program under Dr Puru Sagar from 23 June 2020 to 30 June 2020 and a further scheduled admission from July 7 to 14 July,’ court facts said.
Police spoke to an employee of the hospital on July 14 who said Walker had not been an inpatient at the hospital since 2018. Dr Sagar had likewise not worked there since that year, the paperwork said.
At 9.33pm on 14 July police received a final email from Walker.
‘The accused stated she was readmitted to South Coast Private Hospital and would be unable to report to Southern Highlands Police Station.’
She forwarded an email from the hospital penned by an administration clerk named ‘Dani’ who provided information regarding an extended stay.
Police later confirmed the people named as creating the documents had not done so and charged her with fraud.
Police swooped, charging Walker with using false documents to influence the exercise of a public duty.
In a police interview, the socialite admitted sending the documents but insisted she had, in fact, been a patient at the hospital in 2020.
Officers hammered her ‘blatant disregard for bail conditions’ in a fact sheet handed to a magistrate last week.
Walker – whose lawyer recused himself – admitted the hospital documents were fake before she was sentenced to a slew of charges last week.
‘These document offences under the Crimes Act are at the highest end of offending as it strikes at the heart of the administration of bail, which is a flagrant disregard for your obligations of honesty,’ Magistrate Susan McIntyre said on sentencing.
She admitted to taking $26,000 in hotel stays (pictured is the lavish Rae’s on Wategos resort at Byron Bay where she stayed), products or services without every paying for them
The court heard the fraud charges Walker admitted involved her wrongfully obtaining a total of $17,981 from her former employer, the Australian Leisure Group, plus about $9,000 owing to others.
Walker stayed at the lavish Rae’s on Wategos resort in Byron Bay and buy products from a Harvey Norman store, but paid for neither, and had sent fake rental paymeny receipts to her Southern Highlands landlord for several weeks.
Relatives cried as she told them ‘I love you’ and ‘I deserve this’ last Wednesday and was placed in handcuffs.
Walker was handed a total sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment and will be eligible for parole on September 8, 2021.
Walker’s sentencing last week was just the latest episode in the very long and public downfall of the former student at $30,000-a-year Frensham boarding school