A ‘parasitic’ man from Northampton who conned two wives and a girlfriend out of up to £150,000 has been jailed for seven years.
Matthew Sprigmore, aged 49, from Woolstone Close, ran up debts on credit cards in the names of two spouses and both blackmailed them and beat them up when they got close to discovering his financial secrets, Northampton Crown Court heard today.
Along with deception of a girlfriend - who stands by him and was in court - he accumulated debt of between £100,000 and £150,000 in the names of the three women over the course of 13 years.
Sprigmore’s first wife, from 2002 onwards and with whom he had a daughter, was bullied using violence into signing a £50,000 joint mortgage to consolidate both their debts, a deal on which the conman forged his own mother’s signature as a witness.
With his second wife, who he met in 2013, he even impersonated her voice over the telephone to secure a £12,000 loan from the Santander bank, among other debts.
With both wives, he pretended he had job when he was in fact unemployed and would get up early and put on a suit before spending the day at his leisure.
However, with his girlfriend, he pretended he was a down-on-his-luck musician waiting for a fictional redundancy payment, borrowing £12,000 from her.
Ben Gow, prosecuting said the credit rating of both his wives had been ‘destroyed’. His first wife in particular had a daily fear of opening her mail and had been forced to deal with bailiffs and debt collectors.
Judge Michael Fowler, sentencing, said the case stood out for him as particularly serious offending.
He said “Over 13 years, you lived the life of a parasite, feeding on the susceptibility those who you’d tricked into a realtionship.
“You were a comman of the worst sort.
“You focused on your short-term needs to the exclusion of the interests of your victims.
“Sometimes it was a case of wanting a specific item, generally it was a lifestyle you couldn’t afford from honest endeavour, at the same time trying to control and obtain obedience of those who trusted and loved you.
“Like most parasites, your behaviour has had a dramatic effect in damaging those victims, and indirectly your own child.”
Adressing a letter that Sprigmore wrote to the court trying to justify his actions, Judge Fowler said the act had not stood him in good stead.
He said: “That is the most appalling episode of self justification, an attempt to con the court as you had conned these women. It had no effect whatsoever.
“You have shown yourself to be mean and dishonest. It is going to be a long time before anyone believes a word you say.”
Other charges related to Sprigmore’s work with an employment agency, from who he claimed at least £2,000 commission for placing mana
gers in jobs that did not exist.
He also admitted five charges of driving cars - one an Audi TT - without insurance.
Sprigmore was jailed for seven years and made the subject of restraining order regarding both his wives.