A ‘PARASITIC’ conman, who left a Southsea mother and her two young children homeless after stealing from them, is now beginning his new life – behind bars.
Paul Crouch, 35, has been jailed for two years after targeting two vulnerable women he met using mobile dating apps.
The tattooed crook lured them on dates, wooing them with stories about his wealth, even using fake banking apps to show off his supposed riches.
But it was all a lie. Instead, he would use his relationship to pilfer money from his lovers and their families.
Now one of his victims has spoken out about how her life was almost ruined after being conned by Crouch.
Betrayed Becki Saunders, of Southsea, met him late last year, after matching with him on mobile dating app, Tinder.
I let this snake – this parasite – into our lives, to suck off us and steal off us and I was blind to itBecki Saunders, 32, of Southsea
Within weeks, Crouch had wormed his way into her life, moving into her home
She said: ‘He is a parasite. He has done this to so many women. I have no idea how or why he latched on to me.
‘He got into my house and I couldn’t get rid of him.’
He stayed with her at her Portsmouth home between September and November.
During this time he gained the trust of Becki and her children.
But unbeknownst to her, while he was living there he stole computer games from her then-eight-year-old son, Daryl and used her accounts to steal £129, which he spent on computer games and downloadable content on the Xbox One.
‘It was all too good to be true,’ said Becki. ‘I gave up my job because he promised me a job as his PA, he said he was working for Microsoft, earning thousands and thousands.
‘He said I could move in with him. I handed in my notice to the letting agents.’
She added his promises never materialised, leaving her stranded with her two young children.
‘That was the lowest point of my life, being homeless with two children,’ she said. ‘I felt like a failure. It was all a lie.’
She said Crouch, of Gordon Road, Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, made excuse after excuse for his behaviour and soon became more domineering.
‘He hated me having friends, he would go through all my social media, he would question me about my friends,’ said Becki.
Eventually she saw through his lies and discovered how he had stolen from her and her son.
After making the discovery, she said: ‘I saw red. I was angry. The red mist came down. I had him by the throat against the wall and threw him out of the house.
‘I was feeling embarrassed, hurt, disgusted, sick and angry. I wanted to kill him. He had used my weakness – my children – against me.
‘Every mother wants to be able do the best for their children, give them the best, give them a better life.
‘I thought that I might have some good luck with him.
‘In the end, I had let this snake – this parasite – into our lives, to suck off us and steal off us and I was blind to it.’
Becki reported Crouch – who also went by the name Paul Foster – to police. He was arrested and pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud and five counts of theft, during a hearing at the Isle of Wight Crown court.
Becki added: ‘He does need to be put away. He is an habitual fraudster. He has done this to so many people.
‘He preys on women when they’re in a vulnerable moment. I was in a that vulnerable moment when we started talking.’
Since her ordeal, Becki, Daryl – now nine – and his two-year-old sister Freya, have started a new life in their new home.
Becki said she wanted to speak out to warn other people about being conned by people like Crouch, adding: ‘I feel like a different person from what I was. I am stronger now than I have ever been.’