"He continued to manipulate me"
Romance fraudster Sajad Hussain, aged 45, of Swindon, has been jailed for five years and four months for conning three women out of more than £200,000.
He pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud relating to a seven-year period between 2013 and 2020.
Swindon Crown Court heard that Hussain met three women on online dating sites.
Steven Molloy, prosecuting, said married Hussain used the names Sanjay Gill and Sanjay Patel when communicating with the women, all from the West Midlands.
He contacted them using a secret Nokia phone.
Mr Molloy said he showed one victim a small room in Dudley which he claimed was his rented accommodation. But in reality, he owned two properties.
Hussain falsely claimed he was a police officer, his mother had breast cancer and he needed money to pay for his father’s care, even though his father had already passed away.
The fraudster insisted to each woman that he wanted to settle down and have a family.
Each woman believed she was in a genuine relationship with him and the money he requested having been assured it would be returned.
One victim used her family’s gold jewellery to raise money while others borrowed money from their parents.
In total, the fraudster swindled nearly £204,000.
Two victims reported Hussain to the police and Action Fraud after their relationship with him ended.
Hussain was arrested in October 2020 at the home he shared with his wife.
In his car, police found betting slips and the Nokia phone, which was hidden in a pair of gloves in a cardboard box.
Officers discovered Hussain had a substantial gambling habit, with £135,000 leaving Hussain’s bank account in relation to online gambling between 2013 and 2020.
In court, one victim told the judge:
“The man who you see before you today lied to defraud me of thousands and thousands of pounds and priceless family heirlooms which I will never get back.
“He continued to manipulate me to serve his own gambling addiction.”
She felt “violated” by Hussain and said the impact of his crimes had been “astronomical”.
In a personal statement read by Mr Molloy, a second woman said she felt “stupid, ashamed and guilty” for falling for Hussain’s lies.
She took out a high-interest loan to repay the money borrowed from her family.
The financial impact of Hussain’s offending meant she could not take full maternity leave when she had a baby years later.
A third woman said she lives with a “constant feeling of dread” and was unable to have children at the age she wanted to due to believing she had a future with Hussain.
James Tucker, for Hussain, said:
“This isn’t offending to fund a lavish lifestyle, it was his debts, his own personal bills.”
Judge Jason Taylor KC told the fraudster:
“In each case, you spun a web of lies to ingratiate yourself in these women’s lives and earn their trust.
“Once securely embedded, you pulled whatever emotional lever you could to extract money from them.
“You used false names from the outset, you told two of your victims that you were or had been a police officer, a variety of sob stories designed to create sympathy and pile on emotional pressure.
“In a devious and callous manner, you systematically created a false persona with the sole purpose of building up their trust which you then cruelly abused.
“You knew they were looking for long-term relationships, including on occasion having children.”
“The contrast between you and your victims couldn’t be more stark. These women gradually fell in love with you.
“You on the other hand were cold-hearted and mercenary, effectively tossing them aside when they were no longer of financial use to you or you had moved on to another victim.
“To you, they were human piggy banks.”
Hussain was jailed for five years and four months.
A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing will take place at a later date.