A ‘love rat’ stole thousands of pounds from women and a business partner after ‘worming his way’ into their lives.
A judge said Paul Simon Gillet, 30, had made it his life’s work ‘to dupe and defraud innocent people’ as he jailed him for four-and-a-half years today.
Gillet, who is already serving time, stole £158,000 from unsuspecting victims, including one woman who he moved in with after meeting her on a night out in Camarthen, Wales.
The ‘pathological liar’ previously conned Rebecca Rouse, who he met on Tinder, out of £3,000 after convincing her he needed a new kidney, Wales Online reports.
Swansea Crown Court heard that one of his victims was a woman he met on a night out in Carmarthen before moving in with her and her children.
Helen Randall, prosecuting, said he took out large amounts of store credit agreements in her name, took out finance on an Audi car, and persuaded her to obtain a loan to pay a deposit on a house for them.
He also attempted to get loans worth more than £41,000 using her personal details.
He then lied to her that he had kidney problems and needed an urgent transplant, and claimed to be due a £1m inheritance.
In a bizarre twist, he claimed the owner of a printing business who he also defrauded was his biological father, and that he had only just been reunited with him after being raised by adoptive parents in Ireland.
A second woman he targeted had recently gone through a break up and was feeling vulnerable. He flattered her and said his bank account had been frozen and needed money to pay people in the Middle East.
In relation to the printing business, Miss Randall, prosecuting, said that in August 2018 Gillett – using the false name of Paul Grey – approached a west Wales company and offered to design its website.
She said Gillett soon “wormed his way” into the business and the owner’s life, persuading the boss to launch a new venture together of supplying large illuminated letters for use as decorations at weddings and other events.
The defendant even moved in with the owner and his partner as they worked on their new project, and a unit was rented to store the letters which Gillett said a friend of his could make.
The prosecutor said Gillett persuaded his new business partner to hand over large amounts of cash and to take out loans supposedly to get the project going “but in reality the defendant was taking his money for himself”.
Gillett even created fake customers from all over the UK and Europe who he said were interested in using the services of the new firm, sending his business partner to attend “spurious meetings” which were always cancelled at the last minute.
The court heard he also targeted the owner’s wife, persuading her to give him more than £4,300 for a company vehicle, money he used to buy himself a BMW, and £2,000 for business suits.
In reality, he bought cheap suits from Matalan and pocketed the difference.
Miss Randall said Gillett also defrauded genuine customers who approached the company wanting to buy illuminated letters off them, telling one of them his daughter was ill and needed chemotherapy in order to garner sympathy.
He even created supposed customers for these businesses who were interested in renting out the letters once they had bought them.
Then in January 2019 the defendant persuaded his supposed business partner and his partner to fly to Dubai to meet a potential client and his family.
But there was no such customer, and when the couple got back to Wales they found bank accounts had been emptied.
In total Gillett stole more than £35,000 from the business, as well as many thousands more from the owner’s partner.
The court heard that in total he stole some £158,595 from his victims.
In an impact statement the owner of the business he first approached said what Gillett did had “greatly impacted” on his life and emotional wellbeing, and left him being chased for debts which were not of his making.
He said as a result of the defendant’s actions he had lost his business of 10 years, lost his pension, and had his bank accounts closed down.
He described Gillett as “heartless, selfish and uncaring” adding: “I have a life sentence because of what he has done.”
The woman who Gillett moved in with described him as a “pathological liar – and a good one” who had not only stolen her money but also her independence.
The mum too said she was being pursued for debts which the defendant had accrued, and had been left scared to answer the phone or the front door.
Gillett, formerly of Coronation Road, Carmarthen, but now of HMP Brinsford near Wolverhampton, had previously pleaded guilty to 10 counts of fraud by false representation when he appeared in the dock via videolink.
Two previous sentencing hearings had been adjourned after the defendant was taken ill moments before they were due to start.
The court heard that in March 2019 Gillett was jailed at Worcester Crown Court for fraud after selling non-existent Ed Sheeran concert tickets, and for scamming a woman he was dating out of thousands of pounds for medical treatment he claimed he needed.
Miss Randall said the woman realised she had been conned when she saw on Twitter that he was engaged to somebody else.
The defendant was sentenced to 18 months for these offences, and a previously imposed 18 months suspended sentence – also for offences of fraud – was activated.
Then in February this year Gillett was sentenced to 30 months for more offences of fraud committed against two women he had been dating in later 2017 and early 2018.
One of the women he had persuaded to take out a series of loans totalling more than £13,000 before, “without warning”, walking out on the relationship on Boxing Day to start a new relationship with a woman he had met online.
The other woman he scammed some £18,000 off before claiming he was going to visit a sick relative, and then never returning.
Michael Aspinall, for Gillett, said the defendant had contracted Covid-19 in April this year, and had been left with heart problems and scarring of the lungs as a result.
He said that prior to embarking on the overall series of frauds in his mid-20s his client’s marriage had ended, he had lost his business, and he was effectively homeless.
The barrister said Gillett now “bitterly regrets what he has done”.
Judge Huw Rees told the defendant he had deployed “guile and deceit” to take money from his victims in a variety of ways, causing financial and emotional devastation for all involved.
He said: “You are an entirely dishonest man. You have made it your life’s work, it seems, to dupe and defraud innocent people.”
The judge said that in coming to a sentence he had to put himself in the position of the judge in Bournemouth Crown Court in February, and consider what term would have been imposed had both sets of offences been sentenced at the same time.
Giving the defendant a 25% discount for his guilty pleas the judge sentenced him to four-and-a-half years to run consecutively with the sentence he is currently serving.