Henley Man Sentenced to 16 Months Imprisonment for Fraud

Gavin James, aged 29, of Harpsden Road in Henley-On-Thames, pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud at Oxford Crown Court on Thursday (30/10).

Between August 2013 and January 2014, James fraudulently obtained approximately £20,000 from a 31-year-old woman from Reading who he had met on a dating website.

James met his victim on the website in the summer of 2013 and formed a relationship.

Over the course of the next few months, James made continuous demands for money, saying he needed computer equipment for a new job and funding for college courses and money for clothing.

This turned out to be false.

James had never applied for a job and was attempting to fund his lifestyle by exploiting his victim.

James also persuaded her to buy him a £1,600 bike, claiming he was told by his doctor that he needed to lose weight for medical reasons. This was a lie.

James convinced the victim that he would eventually pay her back but once she started incurring money problems and her contact with James became less frequent she became suspicious and contacted the police.

James was arrested on 24 June in Henley on Thames and was charged with eight counts of fraud on 28 August.

He was due to attend court on 23 October but failed to appear. The hearing was rescheduled for 30 October when he was given a 16 month custodial sentence.

Investigating officer, PC David Simpkins from Local CID, said: “James exploited the kind and generous nature of a vulnerable woman and brazenly defrauded her of around £20,000. Officers have worked hard to investigate this case and bring it to court and I am pleased with this conviction. Thames Valley Police will do everything it can to seek justice for victims of crime and I would encourage anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of fraud to come forward and speak to us.”