A career fraudster has been jailed for 9.5 years after conning his online dating match out of £250,000.
Liz Todd met Christopher Heayns on dating site Plenty Of Fish just 11 days after Heayns had been released from prison.
The 28-year-old entered into a relationship with who she believed to be Christopher Smith, a successful barrister from Newcastle with a host of lucrative investments and properties.
Little did she know the man, real name Christopher Heayns, had a staggering 133 previous fraud convictions, and had been jailed for fraud seven times.
Shortly into their relationship, Heayns asked Todd to rent a lavish house under his name, saying he couldn’t do it himself because of a clause that made it difficult for barristers to rent under their own name.
Although reluctant, Todd agreed under the premise that Heayns was soon to receive a large payout from one of his investments, so needed money to keep him going until then.
In addition to this, Todd was also found to have paid his bills and housekeeping staff’s wages, while Heayns spent her money using five credit cards he took out in her name on prostitutes, strippers, hotels and fancy trips to London.
The total amount conned from Todd was £168,000, with the criminal even defrauding Todd’s 60-year-old mother, stealing £82,000 of her savings.
Speaking about the ordeal, Todd told Good Morning Britain: “He wasn’t flashy at all – I don’t think I would have been attracted to him if that was the case.
“It was done in such a clever way. He paid for everything first, everything was so calculated, so practised.
“There was nothing about his past that didn’t make sense. He just seemed so normal. He took in everyone around us.”
Todd eventually found out about her partner’s past after a builder working on his house saw a Christmas card which had a different name on it, and after Googling it found a number of news stories about the fraudster’s past.
Now left bankrupt, Todd is trying to rebuild some of the savings that Heayns robbed her of.
During sentencing, where Heayns was given 9.5 years, Recorder Euan Duff said: “I am quite satisfied, in over 40 years of practice in law, you are the most dishonest person I have ever encountered. You spun lie after lie after lie.
“You have ruined her life. There can be no doubt about that.”