‘Casanova conman’ duped women out of £40k after pretending to be an ex-soldier

A serial conman who duped women out of £40,000 has been jailed again after lying that he was in the Royal Marines .

Michael Brain, 49, made the fake claims about military history on dating sites to dupe dozens of lonely women out of thousands of pounds.

But the shameless conman was unmasked, jailed for four years and banned from social media.

However, Brain was back on Facebook weeks after his release, under a false name, he made up stories about military heroics.

He was spotted by a sharp-eyed former partner who called Devon and Cornwall Police .

And Brain has been sentenced to another two years in jail, Plymouth Live says, after admitting two breaches of his Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

The defendant did spend four years in the Royal Navy before working as a prison officer, but he had lied online he was part of the Royal Marines.

Sentencing Brain at Plymouth Crown Court, Recorder Charles Morrison added: "You were involved in getting substantial sums of money out of several vulnerable women, which led to a period of imprisonment for four years.

"You met each of them through dating websites and caused considerable distress. One woman was aged 75.

"You claimed to be a member of the special forces. You were on the path to a pattern of offending which resulted in your term of imprisonment."

Tom Faulkner, prosecuting, told the court Brain had regularly been on social media since his ban.

Under the false name, he sold a car using Facebook and set up an Instagram account, which boasted: "Single hard working guy. Ex special forces . Two grown-up kids, just become a granddad. Little (girl's name) xx want to know more ask me x"

He later deleted the word "special" to just say forces.

Pictures also show the driver posing for admiring partners in uniforms he was never entitled to wear.

Between 2012 and 2015, the defendant, of Plymouth, duped up to 28 women to pocket £40,000 which he spent on bills, cigarettes, booze and gambling.

Mr Faulkner claimed that once he had gained their trust, he would steal their money or take cherished personal items.

William Parkhill, defending, said he had been working with probation since his release – though officers themselves were not aware of the CBO.

He urged the judge to pass a suspended prison sentence, taking into account the time he is spending behind bars.

Mr Parkhill said he had not posted much on Instagram and he had not duped any new victims.

"He has lost a number of jobs through his previous convictions," the barrister said.

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