A CONMAN who posed as an Army captain when he seduced a woman has been jailed.
Peter Wall, 30, told his girlfriend a string of lies to get her to buy him gifts.
As well as telling her he was a captain attached to the Royal Commandos, he said he had won the Military Cross for work in Afghanistan, had been asked to help track down gunman Raoul Moat and had got a job catching wild animals on a TV programme hosted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Wall – who shares the same name as the Army’s Chief of General Staff – lived with his victim and her family in Todmorden for four months in 2011.
He told them he saved his family from a fire at the age of eight, that he was a former professional rugby player, had a first degree from Loughborough, had been fasted-tracked through the Army after Sandhurst and his brother was head chef at a Marcus Wareing restaurant.
The court heard he lied that he had been head-hunted by MI5 and M16, his stepdad was a gangster, his best friend committed suicide and that his younger sister died in a car crash. Wall, who has a string of convictions, including some for similar offences, was in fact a former Army logistics engineer between 2002 and 2006 before he was discharged on medical grounds.
He met the woman on a night out in Burnley and she gave Wall her phone number. He contacted her on a dating website and began texting her. He said his mother and sister lived in Australia but his father had died.
He tried to meet her at work but she refused. She got a text message the following month saying he had been hit by a car and was in hospital.
Bradford Crown Court heard he told the woman he had nowhere to go because his mother, who he said was living in Australia, had been diverted to America when she tried to visit him.
Having given him several hundreds of pounds for hotels, the woman introduced him to her parents and he moved in.
As well as telling her he loved her, Wall told the woman he was earning £4,000 a month, but she became suspicious when he kept asking her to pay. In July 2011 he contacted local media including the Todmorden News and Hebden Bridge Times to ask for publicity about a world record charity walk he said he was attempting from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for Help for Heroes.
Soon after, he arrived at the woman’s house in an Audi, which the court heard was owned by another woman he was seeing. He packed his bags and left a few weeks later.
At that point the victim, who lost a total of £2,854, researched him on the internet and discovered his previous convictions. Last August Wall was given an 18-month community order in Blackburn after admitting he conned another girlfriend out of £1,700 for a trip to Australia by pretending his mother had died. She was alive and living in Liverpool.
He was arrested shortly afterwards. Daniel King, defending, said: “Mr Wall did it because he didn’t think she would be interested in the real him.
“He would like to make it clear that he is deeply ashamed, embarrassed and appalled by his actions. He abused and violated the trust they placed in him.”
Judge James Potter told Wall: “This was a determined and devious course of offending designed to con this woman out of money, services and accommodation. “It was planned, cynical, devious and caused significant harm.”
Wall, now of Blackburn, Lancashire, admitted three counts of fraud and was jailed for 12 months. On release, he will be subject to a restraining order prohibiting him from using dating websites.