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Love-rat gambler jailed over £700k lovers’ con

A LOVE cheat who conned two women out of more than £700,000 has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Unemployed gambling addict Craig Brown met both victims through an online dating site and told them he ran his own businesses.

But the 47-year-old Casanova cynically drained their bank accounts with bogus tales of buying a home together and romantic getaways that never materialised.

One woman from Derby he met in 2010 was taken for about £52,000 and left living in a caravan. Prosecutor Stuart Clarkson told Warwick crown court: ‘She was left with no savings and no home, estranged from her own family, and living with the fact that the previous six years of her life had been a lie.’

Brown, from Nuneaton, repaid her trust with violence after stamping on her foot so hard she broke a bone.

When she asked about their finances last August, he pulled a clump from her hair. Thinking she was his fiancée, she was unaware her lover was seeing a second woman from Coventry, whose family lost more than £686,000.

She said he ‘manipulated and controlled me’, adding: ‘All I have now are my clothes and personal possessions and a nine-year-old car. Brown’s actions have left me devastated.’

He also conned his own sister, Lesley Dickinson, out of £2,225 for a luxury break to Florida. When he did not turn up at the airport, frantic phone calls revealed the trip was not booked.

Brown, of Nuneaton, admitted four counts of fraud and two of assault. Jailing him, Recorder Michelle Heeley QC said: ‘You are a coward and a liar. There was no lie too despicable for you.’