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Last Updated: Friday, 4 August 2006, 18:26 GMT 19:26 UK
'Prescott conman' gets four years
David King
King used the money to fund his lifestyle
A conman who claimed he was the cousin of John Prescott has been jailed for four years for swindling money out of women he met through internet dating.

David King promised love and marriage to his victims, who he met through the Dating Direct website love, but instead asked them to "invest" in his business.

He pleaded guilty to four charges of obtaining money by deception from two women between January and April 2004.

King, 61, of Leigh, Greater Manchester, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court.

The court heard he claimed he was 10 years younger and presented himself on the website as a clean-living Christian, with a high income as a self-employed writer and businessman.

The court head he was the "the epitome of charm", dating five women at the same time.

My advice to any woman is if they look like John Prescott, leave them well alone
Victim Anthea Major

He claimed to be publishing a book of religious poetry, The Revelations of St John the Divine, which he said would make them money.

But after taking 10,550 from two women he disappeared with the cash, the court heard.

Four of his victims were in court, but there are believed to be up to 30 other victims.

Judge Stuart Baker told him: "They succumbed to your apparent charm and bogus appearance of respectability and industriousness.

"These were mean, calculating offences of confidence trickery."

The court heard that King, who lives on a canal boat called Jolene, has previous convictions for dishonesty.

He was jailed for 21 months in March 2002 after duping one women out of 39,500 after claiming he was setting up a nursery business.

John Prescott
King claimed to be John Prescott's cousin

Judith McMullough, defending, said the money was used to fund his own lifestyle, but he was now ashamed of himself.

Outside court, one of his victims, Monica Walford, 51, of Hixon, Staffordshire, said: "He has done this before and he will do it again.

"He came across as a polished professional, well-educated, articulate with a good sense of humour."

Another victim, Anthea Major, 55, from Fulwood, Preston, said: "He is a menace to society. I wouldn't jail him, I would have him breaking rocks.

"My advice to any woman is if they look like John Prescott, leave them well alone."

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