Victim of con-woman Julia Holmes tells how his ordeal left him 'broken'
A man who was introduced to serial con-woman Julia Holmes as part of his treatment for post traumatic stress disorder has spoken of how her deception has left him "broken".
The bodies of on-the-run Northern Ireland fraudster Holmes and her partner Thomas Ruttle were found in Limerick last Monday.
The full extent of the deception and fraud conducted by Holmes throughout her life has been exposed since the discovery.
Living in various parts of the world and operating under numerous pseudonyms, she crossed paths with Greg Kent during her time in Australia.
During her time in Australia she proceeded to defraud him of £40,000.
"I was introduced to Julie in 2011 by a mutual friend. I had a bad truck smash in 2006 which resulted in the death of a very well-known Queensland policeman," Greg said.
"Not my fault but what happened as a result was that I was left with PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder].
"I was put on to Julie as she pretended to be a life coach and was meant me to get through the worst of it [PTSD] in conjunction with some other stuff."
Greg said he received compensation after the accident and Julia "cottoned on to this" and asked him to put a portion of that into a housing investment portfolio in America.
After initial reservations, Greg said Julia "worked her magic on me".
"The initial amount that went in there was approximately €54,000 (£40,000).
"Stupid me didn't ask to see any evidence. She worked me over so well that I didn't think I had to worry about that sort of thing"
Speaking about her pretence as a life coach, Greg said that she began to drive wedges between Greg and his family and friends through her "coaching".
"Some period of time after I rang her... I needed those funds to help pay my medical expenses and a few other things... I needed that money."
Julia informed Greg at the time that this was not possible as she had "rolled over" his investment for another 12 months.
"She had initially told me that those funds would be returned to me two fold within 9-10 months," he told Pat Kenny on Newstalk radio.
Despite repeated calls and messages from Greg to release the funds, Julia used excuses of being ill, having a miscarriage and even having terminal cancer to avoid the issue.
"The realisation that I would never see that money again only hit me six weeks ago when I realised the full extent of what this woman was about," he said.
"I'm gobsmacked with how far this woman has gone with her 'achievements'."
Greg said that he stumbled upon news items about Julia several weeks ago but only found out in the last few days about her death.
"She's destroyed my life. I put that much faith and trust in her as a mentor, a role model a confidante. I won't trust anyone else beside my wife again.
"It's left me broken."
Greg also said that he believes that "Tom" was not involved in Julia's fraud and said he was "mortified that this man has actually gone".
Story so far
The bodies of Ms Holmes (63) and her partner Mr Ruttle (56) were discovered side-by-side in their isolated farmhouse near Askeaton, Co Limerick. It is believed the bodies had been there for some weeks. Gardai found two handwritten notes on their kitchen table, dated March 14. The notes appeared to have been signed by both Ms Holmes and Mr Ruttle.