THE victim of a ‘sinister’ revenge plot who was almost forced to leave her home has told of her relief as her ex-boyfriend was jailed.
Liar Anthony Ferreira was ditched by his partner three years ago after he became controlling and manipulating.
After being told to leave her home in Mayhall Road, Copnor, in November 2013, the businessman tried to claim he spent thousands of pounds improving her house.
Ferreira issued a £52,000 civil court claim using forged receipts, knowing the woman would have to sell her house – bought with inheritance from her father – if he won as this was just over the equity.
When she found his receipts were fake, she reported him to the police and Ferreira, then owner of the Gin & Olive restaurant in Albert Road, Southsea, was charged with fraud and perverting the course of justice.
But even then the 33-year-old turned up for his criminal trial with faked bank statements to use in his defence at Portsmouth Crown Court. On the second day, police obtained his real bank statements and the trial was aborted.
He later admitted two frauds and two counts of perverting the course of justice, but still tried to say his claim was honest.
Now he has been jailed for more than seven years for the actions, which a judge said were ‘calculated, carefully planned and extensive’.
He was previously jailed over a £35,000 theft when working as a car parts manager.
Speaking to The News, his 35-year-old victim said: ‘He never needed to do any of this.
‘It’s all his own doing. I feel relieved that justice has been done. He’s going to be in prison for three years and he put me through three years of hell, so he’s repaying the time he’s hurt me.’
The victim, who spent £16,000 defending his fraudulent claims, added: ‘I couldn’t live at home on my own, I was upset all the time. My health was affected, it was just emotionally completely draining. I feared for my safety, my health, losing my home.
‘He tried to take my dog, anything I was emotionally attached to he tried to ruin or take away from me. I felt like my life was in tatters.’
She was forced to give evidence in a two-day hearing as Ferreira pleaded guilty but said his civil claim was not fraudulent from the start.
The court heard he used 30 receipts to make out he had a £52,000 interest in her home.
‘He was claiming not only for the money he had spent but also he claimed that the house had increased in value by around £50,000,’ prosecutor Robert Bryan said at trial.
But in reality, Ferreira had forged the receipts, in some cases doubling the value of the items or work done.
Part of his fraud included forging a printout from Zoopla changing the value of a neighbouring property.
One receipt made out a window-fitting company had installed items worth £2,667, but the victim discovered the firm was based in America.
Ferreira also tried to win custody of their dog, reported the woman to police 22 times between May and August last year and sent her abusive messages online.
She was so worried she ended up filming everywhere she went, installed a tracker on her phone and lived with her mum for two months.
The woman offered him £8,000 to end the dispute but he rejected this. Ferreira later told police: ‘If she hadn’t been such a (expletive), I probably wouldn’t have pursued it further.’
Sentencing, judge Claudia Ackner said: ‘Your motivation in submitting forged documents to support your claim for a significant interest in the woman’s home after the breakdown of your relationship was fraudulent from the outset and intended to cause her great distress with the risk she would have to sell her home.’
Ferreira poses a high risk to the woman, the court heard. The judge imposed a restraining order for life.