Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Swindling lothario posed as top QC to rob female victims

One of Britain's most notorious swindlers is behind bars for posing as the country's top lawyer to target vulnerable women.

Paul “King Con” Bint, who has spent a lifetime “worming” his way into the “hearts and homes” of the opposite sex, wined and dined unsuspecting victims he met through lonely hearts ads or the internet.

Throughout his latest campaign of deceit, the unlikely-looking lothario sported all the trappings of a successful barrister enjoying high-powered connections.

The 47-year-old told some of his “conquests” he was Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keir Starmer QC, while another knew him as Jonathan Reese QC.

He boasted of owning a fleet of luxury cars including one used in the James Bond film Goldeneye, and of being a friend of several celebrities.

Bint also spoke of his various homes, including a riverside penthouse.

None of it was true.

London's Southwark Crown Court heard he even promised one woman a holiday for two in a sun-drenched Caribbean idyll.

Yet when he thought her affections might lie elsewhere, he got nasty.

He scrawled “bitch” on the side of her home, blamed his potential rival, claimed the man had repeatedly assaulted an ex-girlfriend, and convinced her to dump him.

Riel Karmy-Jones, prosecuting, said by the time they realised who he was he had misused a credit card belonging to one of them and stolen a valuable bracelet from another.

Bint, who owned up in court to a 30-year criminal career, insisted, however, that on this occasion he had done nothing wrong.

He said while he had genuinely been interested in seeing if his latest “friendships” could develop into something “long term”, they had repaid his affections with lies.

The jury disagreed. It convicted him of five counts committed between April 27 and May 5 this year.

Two were for fraud by false representation — cheating a taxi driver of a £60 fare and using a credit card belonging to one of his women victims.

Another was for stealing a bracelet, burgling the robing room at St Alban's Crown Court and stealing a barrister's laptop, and test driving a £59,000 Audi R8 while disqualified,

He was cleared of seven other credit card frauds, and four of driving while disqualified, including one on the judge's direction.

Bint showed no reaction as the verdicts were delivered and remained equally impassive as Judge Deborah Taylor remanded him in custody until November 3 for sentence.

Ms Karmy-Jones told the court Bint's “spree of fraud and deception” was “motivated first and foremost by gain for himself in financial terms and also creature comforts”.

The court heard after meeting his three women victims — two through the Sunday Times' Encounter section — Bint “wormed his way into their homes and in some cases into their hearts and their lives”.

The first was 41-year-old Penelope Edwards.

They arranged a date and he gave her flowers, pink champagne and a kiss on the cheek, before romancing her with Windsor's riverside setting.

In the weeks that followed, she let him stay nights and let him use her car. He repaid her kindness by misusing her credit card.

The IT practice manager told jurors she felt “sick and violated” when she discovered Bint's background.

But Bint denied any wrongdoing, although he admitted lying to her about his identity.

“I wanted to impress her. If it led to anything more than a first date it was my intention to sit down and tell her the truth.”

Instead, he two-timed her with Vivienne Walsh, another “conquest” he met on the internet. This time he posed as barrister Mr Reese.

She, too, welcomed him into her home. In return he stole her bracelet to give to Ms Edwards and pocketed some of her DVDs.

Bint once more denied any dishonesty, insisting: “She is very, very nice and I really, really did like her.

“This is something I haven't a great deal of experience in, despite being 47, being with someone, being in a house with someone.”

He then switched back to his DPP persona for a third woman he contacted through a lonely hearts ad but was arrested before he could target her.

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