A LOVE rat who befriended lonely women on the internet before stealing from them has been jailed.
David Kean targeted an Easington Colliery woman after meeting her online.
He left her devastated when he sold her car after dropping her off at her Sunderland workplace.
He had promised to pick her up after her shift and said he was going to collect belongings from his Newcastle home in the meantime.
She was left to make her own way home after he failed to turn up or answer his phone. She then found a receipt for the sale of her Ford Fiesta at a nearby garage, and her laptop was also gone.
She was one of a string of Kean’s victims across the UK.
He gained each woman’s trust and turned on his charms as he moved into their homes, before he went on to steal a total of £8,000 of their property, with his haul including electrical items, cash and jewellery. Now the 41-year-old, of no fixed address, is serving a three-year jail term after admitting 11 offences of dishonesty. The East Durham woman travelled to Derby Crown Court to see him sentenced for the crimes, which included theft of a vehicle and property.
Detective Constable Gemma Royal, of Seaham CID, supported the victim during the investigation and said the woman was “glad” at the outcome of the court action.
Judge Ebraham Mooncey told Kean: “By and large, all these women seem to have lost faith in mankind and, because of your actions, say they cannot trust people and it will take a great deal of time for them to recover that trust element.”
After the court hearing, police in Derbyshire, who led the inquiries after several of the crimes were committed in its force area, branded Kean a “despicable man who preyed on the loneliness and vulnerabilities of single women.”
In one case, he stole cash a woman had put aside for her grandson, with other thefts taking place in Norfolk, West Yorkshire and Northamptonshire, as well as Derby.
Prosecutor Alex Wolfson said Kean used different names and different accounts on dating sites as he courted his victims.
He would log in under names including I’m A Genuine Guy Not Fake and false names such as David Donald, David Ross, David Kayne and David Marshall and would change his identity after moving on from each woman.
In the County Durham case, which happened in October 2011, he called himself Jamie Patterson.