SOLDIER Alastair Gordon tricked a lover out of £12,000 and told her if she reported him she would be ‘got rid of’ as he was an MI5 agent.
Gordon, a Royal Artillery gunner at Baker Barracks in Thorney Island, struck up a relationship with the woman he met on a dating website.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard the 37-year-old told the woman he was a retired army major who had served in Afghanistan and left due to an injury but still worked on Thorney Island for the army.
Prosecutor Daniel Sawyer said Gordon would visit the 38-year-old woman’s Gosport home but never stayed the night as he claimed he had to look after his sick mother.
During their relationship she gave him around £6,000 after he promised a family member could carry out cosmetic surgery on her stomach – the surgery never happened.
He also persuaded her to sign up to a £6,000 credit agreement for a motorbike – which he then sold for cash to pay off debts.
The court heard his victim did not suspect anything was amiss until Gordon went away to Canada with the army and a £1,500 phone bill landed on her doormat.
Mr Sawyer said she called some of the numbers on the itemised bill and discovered Canadian women who thought they were in relationships with Gordon.
Mr Sawyer added: ‘She told him the relationship was over and she wanted property and money back. She told him that if she didn’t get it back she would consider legal action to get them.
‘He said that he would pay her back – which he hasn’t – but he added that he was now in the process of moving to work for MI5 and as part of that he was going to be getting a new identity and if she compromised that identity then she would be “got rid of”.’
Mr Sawyer said the victim believed her and added: ‘She described herself as terrified, she went and got home CCTV installed because she was terrified someone may come round and kill her.’
He was living with his wife and child in married quarters at Baker Barracks.
Mr Sawyer added: ‘The defendant had lied from the outset about who he was and his background.’
Michael Hall, defending, said Gordon, who earns £1,251 a month in the army, disputed the MI5 threat.
He added Gordon fully accepts his responsibility over the money.
The court heard the victim has now been contacted by a debt agency over the motorbike credit agreement.
The victim, who The News has agreed not to identify, said: ‘It really, hurt.
‘I had a good financial record and now I have a bad one because of his actions and that’s going to effect me for a long long time. I won’t be able to obtain any credit.’
She added: ‘One of the most disgusting things is that he described himself as being an army major.
‘I have a lot of military background – I instantly trusted that. I’m disgusted that he’s dragged that through the dirt. We are all brought up to respect our armed forces and trust them.
‘The majority are doing a great job and then we get someone like that who uses the army to gain for himself.’
Judge Roger Hetherington handed Gordon a two-year jail term suspended for two years with 100 hours unpaid work.
Mr Hall had told the court that Gordon would be sacked if he got more than 100 hours unpaid work and possibly if he had a suspended sentence.
‘I don’t know whether you will have a future in the army but I don’t want to deprive you of that opportunity by ordering more hours than could be managed,’ Judge Hetherington said.
Outside court Gordon, who must pay £340 costs and £12,491 compensation at £500 a month to the victim, said he did not want to comment.
He admitted two charges of fraud on July 1 at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.
His troop commander escorted him to court.