Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Man jailed for four years for dating website fraud

David Coombs Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption David Coombs pretended to be a wealthy businessman to dupe his victims out of money

A fraudster has been jailed for conning money from women he met through dating websites.

David Coombs also targeted people in hospitals in Hampshire and Dorset, pretending to be a wealthy businessman.

The 52-year-old, of Hunston Road, Chichester, had previously pleaded guilty to nine fraud offences committed in 2015.

He received a four-year sentence at a hearing at Southampton Crown Court.

Police said his victims were aged between 49 and 83 years old.

'Immeasurable effect'

Coombs would strike up relationships with them before asking to borrow money claiming his wallet had been stolen or his card mistakenly blocked by his bank.

He purported to be a wealthy businessman, employed by an interior design company, and claimed to have multiple properties and offshore bank accounts.

Coombs came to the attention of police after one woman he had been in a relationship with contacted them when he began to harass her.

Det Sgt Will Whale said he had been "spinning a web of lies" over 22 months.

"His persistent offending has had an immeasurable effect on the lives of his victims, not just financially but also psychologically."

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