A “manipulative and arrogant” amateur footballer swindled more than £1,500 from women he met on dating sites by convincing them to open betting accounts before draining them.
Joseph Regan, 22, used the bank cards of his victims, a nurse and a teacher, to open accounts with Bet365 and stole their hard earned cash to gamble with, Cardiff Crown Court heard.
The goalkeeper for Cardiff Corinthians FC targeted his victims between December 2021 and February 2022 and stole £1,420 from his first victim, who managed to claim back just £350 from her bank, and £210 from his second victim.
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His first victim, a teacher, revealed to the court that he had managed to win her over just three weeks after they started seeing each other,WalesOnline reports.
"He was putting on this front, he was saying he loved me and I thought that was so forward. He was saying we should go on holiday together. This was just three weeks and to some degree I had fallen for it,” she told the court.
But shortly after he told her he loved her, he managed to convince her into letting him use her bank cards to open a Bet365 account, and was horrified to see payments come out of her account.
And after she confronted him, he threatened to go to her school and claim that they had begun sleeping together when he was 19.
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"I worked so hard to be a teacher. I felt I could lose everything because of an immature arrogant individual. If he’s capable of turning up he’s going to say whatever,” she said.
Meanwhile, the nurse said she realised that she had been swindled after she spotted her bank card was upside down in her purse
"I had just bought a new car, I had to pay for my insurance, rent. I was in a panic and ‘Oh my god what am I going to do',” she said.
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She said she was left scarred after her horror dating experience.
"I have not been on any dating apps, I refuse to go on it because I am scared it will happen to me again. He could have really hurt me or I could have disappeared or something,” she told the court.
The footballer ended up pleading guilty to two counts of theft after both women reported him for fraud. The court heard he had a previous conviction for criminal damage and disclosing a private sexual photograph, for which he was sentenced to a community order.
Regan was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to carry out 20 days in rehab, 60 hours unpaid work, and was made to pay compensation of £1,280.
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