7 Mar 2012

Man who scamed women he met online jailed

7:58 pm on 7 March 2012

An online lothario has been jailed for two years and seven months for defrauding $24,000 from six women.

Paul Abbott, of Christchurch, cheated the women out of money and possessions after starting relationships with them and gaining their confidence over a period of 18 months.

Abbott met four of the six women on the dating website NZ Dating. In many cases he used the alias of Brett Michaels and told them he was a racing car driver.

He admitted 13 charges including fraud, theft of property and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.

Abbott's lawyer Shannon-Leigh Litt said much of her client's offending was to fund a drug habit.

The district court was told on Wednesday he had a rough upbringing, suffered anxiety and depression and was remorseful.

However, Judge Jane Farish said she did not believe he was sorry for his actions and described them as premeditated.

Judge Farish said the women felt humiliated and it was her job to protect the public from Abbott.