United Kingdom

Romance fraudster, 44, who 'charmed' his way into homes of women is jailed for 12 months

Anthony Alexander, 44, from Preston, charmed women and stole from them

A 'charming' criminal who stole from women he met on dating sites after gaining their trust and moving into their homes has been jailed.

Anthony Alexander, 44, from Preston, convinced the besotted women he met online to let him move into their homes a short time after starting the relationship, police said.

Dyfed-Powys Police said it was a 'very unusual case' as Alexander charmed his way into his victim's homes through a series of lies before taking the first opportunity he could to steal from them.

Alexander, who was discovered to have a number of aliases, was jailed on July 22 just days after the offences were first reported to the police. 

Officers were made aware of the crimes on July 17 when a woman reported a theft from her home.

The unnamed victim explained that she had met Alexander online and after letting him stay over for a week he left with a TV, and a gold wedding ring and suit which belonged to her late father.

Later that day, a second woman arrived at Ystradgynlais police station, reporting that she too had allowed Alexander to move into her home but had become suspicious of his behaviour.

She asked officers to attend and help get him to leave.

When his car was searched, they found the stolen TV and suit, as well as numerous contact details for women and love letters.

Alexander, from Preston, Lancashire, admitted to two counts of theft at Merthyr Magistrates' Court, and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

He was also handed restraining orders against the two victims lasting two years.

Enquiries established that Alexander had changed his name by deed poll from Oliver Alexander Davenport to Oliver Anthony Alexander, and his original name was Joshua Jamie McKenna.

He was discovered to have a vast offending history, including a conviction for a sexually aggravated assault.

Sergeant Craig Morgan said: 'This was a very unusual case, and one unlike typical reports of romance fraud where victims never actually meet offenders in person.

Alexander, from Preston, Lancashire, admitted to two counts of theft at Merthyr Magistrates' Court, and was sentenced to 12 months in prison

'Rather than asking his victims to send money to a bank account, Alexander was actually charming his way into their homes through a series of lies, and taking the first opportunity he could to steal from them. 

Sgt Morgan said: 'Alexander, as he is now known, is clearly a prolific offender who preys on vulnerable women by telling them a series of lies to make out he is someone he's not.

'He has crossed police borders to commit offences and charmed his victims who trusted that they were in genuine relationships with him.

'I would like to thank the victims for their honestly and strength in reporting these offences, and hope the sentence offers some comfort.'

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