A ROMANCE fraudster who conned three women out of more than £200,000 has been jailed.

Sajad Hussain, 45, of Haydon End, Swindon, Wiltshire, pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud relating to a seven-year period between 2013 and 2020 and was sentenced to five years and four months in prison.

Swindon Crown Court heard Hussain used a false name when communicating with the women, from the West Midlands, whom he met on online dating sites and spun a web of lies to in order to swindle money out of them.

Each woman believed she was in a genuine relationship with him – going on dates and planning a future with him – and paid the money he demanded having been assured it would be returned.

Prosecuting, Steven Molloy described how married Hussain used the names Sanjay Gill and Sanjay Patel to the women who he contacted through a secret Nokia phone.

He showed one a small room in Dudley which he claimed was his rented accommodation but in fact he owned two properties and was married, Mr Molloy said.

Hussain falsely claimed he was a police officer, that his father had been involved in a skiing accident abroad, that his father had died and that his mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The court heard how one woman used her family’s gold heirlooms to raise money for Hussain, while others borrowed money from parents to pay his demands.

Judge Jason Taylor KC, sentencing Hussain, told him: “In each case, you spun a web of lies to ingratiate yourself in these women’s lives and earn their trust.

“Once securely embedded, you pulled whatever emotional lever you could to extract money from them.

“The contrast between you and your victims couldn’t be more stark. These women gradually fell in love with you.

“You on the other hand were cold hearted and mercenary, effectively tossing them aside when they were no longer of financial use to you or you had moved on to another victim.

“To you, they were human piggy banks.”

His first victim was defrauded of more than £15,000, the second of £102,422, the third of more than £37,000 and the fourth of almost £49,000 as well as items of highly sentimental family jewellery.

Two of the women reported Hussain to police and Action Fraud after their relationship, which spanned years, with him ended.

He was arrested in October 2020 at the home he shared with his wife, whom he married in 2018.

Police found betting slips in his car, as well as the Nokia phone hidden in a pair of gloves in a cardboard box.

Officers investigating Hussain discovered he had a substantial gambling habit, with £135,000 leaving Hussain’s bank account in relation to online gambling between 2013 and 2020.

One woman read a victim personal statement to the court, telling the judge: “The man who you see before you today lied to defraud me of thousands and thousands of pounds and priceless family heirlooms which I will never get back.

“He continued to manipulate me to serve his own gambling addiction.”

She described how she felt “violated” by Hussain and said the impact of his crimes upon her and her family had been “astronomical”.

A second woman, in a victim personal statement read by Mr Molloy, said she felt “stupid, ashamed and guilty” for falling for Hussain’s lies.

A third woman told how she lives with “a constant feeling of dread” and was unable to have children at the age she wanted to due to believing she had a future with Hussain at the critical time.

Representing Hussain, James Tucker said his client had “substantial personal mitigation” including mental health issues and health problems.

“This isn’t offending to fund a lavish lifestyle, it was his debts, his own personal bills,” Mr Tucker said.

A further hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act will take place at Swindon Crown Court at a later date.