Published: 14:50, 12 January 2018
Heartless charmer Sam Alexander tricked a kindly family into caring for him - and then plundered their life savings.
The 24-year-old liar claimed he was Sam Poplar, an electrician at Dreamland, who had lost a son, whose own mother had died and was now suffering from cancer.
But his sob story did not contain a single piece of truth, a judge was told.
And even when he was released on bail, the conman tricked a University of Kent student into handing over £800 – before secretly swiping her engagement ring.
Now Alexander, of Fulham Avenue, Margate, has been jailed for four years after admitting charges of theft and fraud.
Judge Simon James told him: “For a year and a half you helped yourself to the savings of your partner’s parents and used your partner’s bank account to take money as if it all belonged to you.
“They had treated you with nothing but kindness and compassion which you repaid with cruel and systematic dishonesty.
“Having inveigled your way into their lives with calculated lies you callously betrayed their trust and drained their bank accounts, leaving the entire family facing financial ruin.”
Prosecutor Eleanor Scott said he had taken £55,000 of the family’s money and frittered most of it away through online gambling.
Victim Simon Gates said Alexander had introduced himself as Sam Poplar, an electrician working in Dreamland, and then met his step-daughter.
Jodie Nicholson sobbed as she told Judge Simon James: “When I first met Sam he seemed charming and I fell for him, (he) acted like the perfect boyfriend and I started to trust him.
“Sam soon started changing and started to have control of my bank card and said: ‘I will help you, babe’ and when I would ask for it (back) he would become nasty and call me a slag.”
She revealed that Alexander told her parents Simon and Janice Gates that his mother had died from cancer and the family had lit lanterns and candles as he regaled them with tales of a coffin draped in white lilies.
She added: “It was a lie. When Sam was arrested for the fraud, I felt heartbroken and shocked that someone I had trusted could do this to me and my family.
“I feel so sorry for my parents and I feel crushed that someone who I was with for a year and a bit could do this to me.”
Stepfather Simon Gates told the judge: “As a family with Christian values we fed and clothed him, trying to support him.
“He has given me a life of living hell. (He was) a compulsive liar and controller.
“The next stage was he claimed he had cancer and obviously gained some sympathy from us all.
“This man is capable of the most despicable acts of fraud, lies and theft, all without remorse.”
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