A woman accused of tormenting her friend with a fake ‘catfish’ love affair until she suicided penned a bizarre letter to her fictional boyfriend, inquest told.
A woman accused of tormenting her friend with a fake ‘catfish’ love affair until she suicided penned a bizarre letter to her fictional boyfriend, inquest told.

Alleged catfisher’s' bizarre letter to fake boyfriend

A magistrate has apologised to the family of Renae Marsden, saying the inquest into her apparent suicide brought "torment" to the parents and that Camila Zeidan had "no intention" of ever telling the truth.

Deputy State Coroner Elaine Truscott said in her findings, which will be handed down next month, she will conclude that Ms Zeidan created the fictional Brayden Spiteri to have control over Renae after the "abusive" relationship between the two ended.

Renae, believing Brayden to be serving time in Goulburn prison, exchanged over 11,400 texts with the fictional boyfriend, and even planned to get married.

Camila Zeidan leave court with supporters. Camila was a friend of Renae who created the love interest 'Brayden'. Picture: Toby Zerna
Camila Zeidan leave court with supporters. Camila was a friend of Renae who created the love interest 'Brayden'. Picture: Toby Zerna

Magistrate Truscott said she believes Renae never found out that Brayden was secretly Camila all along.

"That an inquest hearing can be a vehicle for such torment, I apologise," Magistrate Truscott said.

"It is not difficult to conclude that Camilla came to court with no intention of telling the truth," she said.

"That a 27-year-old woman, who under the protection of a section 61 certificate cannot and will not right those wrongs is incomprehensible."

Ms Zeidan did not admit to catfishing Renae at any point during the inquest, and said that Renae created Brayden with her to conceal a lesbian affair.

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH SPECIAL. Renae Marsden, 26, was last seen leaving her home in Glenhaven to meet friends in Sydney's eastern suburbs, around Watsons Bay, on August 5, 2013.
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH SPECIAL. Renae Marsden, 26, was last seen leaving her home in Glenhaven to meet friends in Sydney's eastern suburbs, around Watsons Bay, on August 5, 2013.

Magistrate Truscott rejected Ms Zeidan's version of events, instead her honour believes that it was the "brutal" break up text sent from Brayden on the day of Renae's death that led to her taking her own life at the Gap in Watsons Bay.

"I think I need a break and so do you," the text said.

For the first time since the inquest began, the full text of a letter written to Brayden by Renae has been released.

The letter, handwritten by Renae, paints a picture of the level of devotion she had for Brayden.

"I can't wait to be your wife and give you all the happiness you deserve," the letter said.

"I love you and keep your head up … you have a family waiting for you."

Renae's parents and family wept in the court as Ms Truscott said their daughter died of "heartbreak".

A letter titled 'My beautiful boy' penned by Renae Marsden to Brayden Spiteri who never existed. Picture: Supplied
A letter titled 'My beautiful boy' penned by Renae Marsden to Brayden Spiteri who never existed. Picture: Supplied

Through sobs Renae's mother, Teresa, chose to address Camila in her statement to the court. Ms Zeidan was not present.

"You could have apologised for what you have done, but instead you took the path of deceit and lies," Mrs Marsden said.

"I don't know how you sleep at night knowing you were given an opportunity to tell the truth … one day you will be a mum and I would not wish this pain on you," she said.

The family and supporters of Renae Marsden, (from left) Luke, Mark, Teresa, Monique and Jake Marsden. Picture: David Swift.
The family and supporters of Renae Marsden, (from left) Luke, Mark, Teresa, Monique and Jake Marsden. Picture: David Swift.

Supported by her Renae's father Mark, Mrs Marsden apologised to her daughter.

"I should have protected you Renae … I'm sorry for failing you," Mrs Marsden said.

In her closing statement, council assisting the coroner Sasha Harding said the family was deprived of answers by Camila, and asked Ms Tuscott to consider recommending a change to the law to allow catfishing to be an offence.

"Ultimately it was the false reality created by Camila that led to Renae falling from The Gap … and causing her death," Ms Harding said.

"This case is a truly tragic set of circumstances. That the intentional and ongoing deceitful actions of Camila … was not enough for the police to take action and arrest and charge Camila with any criminal offence has been truly confounding and inexplicable to the family," she said.

"That there is no apparent criminal sanction available … is truly the deepest insult to the family and no doubt the community."

The inquest continues.

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. The Suicide Call Back service is on 1300 659 467.

 

 

A letter titled 'My beautiful boy' penned by Renae Marsden to Brayden Spiteri who never existed. Picture: Supplied
A letter titled 'My beautiful boy' penned by Renae Marsden to Brayden Spiteri who never existed. Picture: Supplied

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