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Con man claimed to be politician's cousin

Aug. 5, 2006 at 2:57 PM   |   Comments

PRESTON, England, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- A British con man who claimed to be the cousin of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has been sentenced to four years for swindling women.

Prosecutors in Preston, England, say David King took advantage of his resemblance to Prescott, telling women he met through the Internet that his daughter worked for the prime minister, The Telegraph reported. King claimed to be a longtime widower who had decided to look for love again, but he vanished after women gave him money to publish a book of religious poetry.

"They succumbed to your apparent charm and bogus appearance of respectability and industriousness," Judge Stuart Baker told King. "These were mean, calculating offences of confidence trickery."

King's lawyer, Judith McCullough, tried to get the sentence reduced, saying that he would use money in his bank account for restitution. But it turned out that he had not brought his checkbook to court, the newspaper said.

"That's just typical," said Monica Walford, who said she was cheated of thousands of pounds. "He probably hasn't even got the money. He has done this before and he will do it again."

Another victim, Anthea Major said she would advise women, "If they look like John Prescott, leave them well alone."

Topics: David King
© 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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