[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 17:23 GMT 18:23 UK
Web love quest man loses 16,000
David Hodgkinson
David Hodgkinson said he was fed up being a single man
A lonely man is 16,000 poorer after sending money overseas to two women he fell in love with over the internet, in the hope they would join him in the UK.

David Hodgkinson's borrowed money from his elderly mother and re-mortgaged his home in Margate, Kent, but neither woman showed up at the airport.

The 48-year-old electrical engineer has admitted he was naive, but said he was desperate to find a partner.

"Emotionally, it's given me a lot of depression," he said.

Mr Hodgkinson, who is a full-time carer for his 86-year-old mother, turned to online dating after he became fed up with being single.

There's many times that I literally cry my heart out
David Hodgkinson

He first struck up a relationship with Natalia, from Russia, who he met through a dating website.

He sent her more than 10,000 to pay for her travel and a visa so she could be with him.

He went to meet her at Heathrow Airport four times, but she never arrived.

"I feel no ill in my heart. I did really love her," Mr Hodgkinson told the BBC.

He then turned to a Christian dating website and met Amada, from Senegal.

He sent her 6,000, but was again left waiting in the arrivals lounge of the airport.

"There's many times that I literally cry my heart out and there are times when I felt I didn't want to live any more," he said.

'Never listened'

His mother, Constance, has been forced to take out a loan to help repay his debts.

"I did tell him off about keeping going to Heathrow," she said.

"In my heart I knew they wouldn't ever turn up... but he never listened."

Experts have warned that the internet should be treated with great care.

Gill Stephens, from Experian Consumer Affairs, said she suspected photos of beautiful women probably came from "a seedy man in a back room".

"It's very easy to get carried away on the internet... but you don't really know who you're talking to."

Woman auctions home - and herself
05 Nov 05 |  Americas


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific