The 'despicable' lothario who charmed lonely women then stole from them and disappeared
A "DESPICABLE" lothario who befriended lonely women on the internet before stealing from them has been jailed for three years.
David Kean targeted women across the UK, including two in Derbyshire, by posing as a "genuine guy" on dating sites, gaining their trust, moving in and then taking electrical items, cash and jewellery, worth a total of about £8,000, which he would sell to pawnbrokers.
His victims included a woman from Alvaston, whom Kean dated in December 2011, and a Draycott woman, with whom he moved in last October.
The 41-year-old pleaded guilty to 11 offences across nine different areas in the UK and was arrested after being tracked to an address in Worcester. He also asked the judge to take into account two similar offences that he committed in 2008.
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Jailing Kean at Derby Crown Court yesterday, Judge Ebraham Mooncey said: "By and large, all these women seem to have lost faith in mankind and, because of your actions, say they cannot trust people and it will take a great deal of time for them to recover that trust element."
Detective Sergeant Debbie King and Detective Constable Sue Hough, of Derbyshire police, ran Operation Bookman, which tracked Kean.
Following the sentencing, Detective Sergeant King said: "Kean is a despicable man who preyed on the loneliness and vulnerabilities of single women who trusted him and let him into their lives before stealing from them."
The 11 crimes to which Kean pleaded guilty started in Dorset in February 2011.
After befriending and stealing from his victim there, he moved in with women in Norfolk, West Yorkshire, Northamptonshire and Durham before selecting his first Derby victim in December 2011.
In court, prosecutor Alex Wolfson said Kean used different names and different accounts on dating websites to court his victims, meet them, move in and then steal from them before disappearing.
Kean stole from his first Derbyshire victim, who was in her 40s, on Christmas Eve in 2011. The woman's mother told the Derby Telegraph: "He stole everything of value that day and even took my grandson's Christmas money."
She said that, when she first met him, she thought he was "a bit over-familiar".
She said: "He walked in and said 'hello mother', so it put me on my guard.
"He has a very charming manner. My daughter cannot trust anyone now – it's affected her mentally very badly and she is still having counselling. She used to be happy-go-lucky."
Kean, of no fixed address, would log on to the dating sites under names such as I'm A Genuine Guy Not Fake and Staying Happy and would change his identity after each victim. He also used false names such as David Donald, David Ross, David Kayne and David Marshall.
After leaving Derby in December 2011, he went on to strike in Lancashire, Scotland and Cheshire before returning to the county.
His Draycott victim, who is in her 50s, met him in October last year. Within a week of him arriving, he had disappeared, taking her cash and jewellery.
Police finally caught up with him after undercover work by Detective Sergeant King and Detective Constable Hough traced him to Worcester, where he was arrested and brought to Derby for questioning.
Laura Finch, in mitigation, said: "He is sorry for how his actions have affected these ladies."