Richard Dexter, 38, was handed four years and six months after fraudulently claiming he was a ‘successful businessman’ on the verge of the a ‘big windfall’ to swindle his lover.
Dexter duped Middle East-based executive Amrita Sebastian into sending him £141,500 in a series of payments saying they were for investments in biopharmaceutical technology
‘Well-educated and well-dressed’ Dexter claimed he had more than £4.2 million tied up in an investment account – but it was a ‘complete fiction’ and it was his friend’s account and had just 37p in.
The father of two reportedly spent Miss Sebastian’s money on ‘relatively high living’ – including paying £15,000 to a classic car company. He claimed international companies 3M and Pall Corp were interested in tech equipment he had the patents for and willing to sign on deals worth up to £12 million.
Pall and 3M have never had any contact with Dexter, the court heard. Dexter persuaded Miss Sebastian that he needed capital to start production of a piece of scientific equipment – a ‘Bioreactor Paddle’.
He told Miss Sebastian ‘she wouldn’t lose anything’ and that he would pay her £100,000 as interest.
Dexter, who sobbed during the two-hour and 15-minute hearing, told the court: ‘I haven’t been able to put into words what I would say to [Miss Sebastian] if she was here.
‘[I have not] had any courage to contact her or put it onto paper, but I’m very, very sorry to the point that I think about it every day, from the minute I wake up until I go to sleep.
‘I can’t justify myself for what I did.’
Dexter’s partner, 37-year-old Hayley Jones, wept and told the court her boyfriend of three and half years is a good father.
Sentencing Dexter, Judge Mousley QC said: ‘I’m left in no doubt that dishonesty is a feature of your character and it is profound.
‘You are someone who shows no hesitation in resorting to lies with an ease that is almost breathtaking.
‘When your truthfulness is challenged you reach for more lies to cover your tracks.’