Trickster faked cancer to get partner’s cash

Andrew Horsley
Andrew Horsley
  • Confidence trickster pretended to have cancer
  • Victim left in financial ruin
  • Judge brands Andrew Horsley “utterly despicable”

A WOMAN who believed she had found her soul mate had actually met a confidence trickster who left her thousands of pounds out of pocket – and pregnant.

The devastated victim is facing losing her home as she is struggling to pay her mortgage and her father, a lecturer, from whom she has had to borrow money, has had to postpone his retirement.

You entered into a relationship with this woman and set about exploiting your position and relationship in order to take her money

Recorder Mark Ford

Andrew Horsley pretended he had bowel cancer, backed up with forged hospital letters, and also falsely claimed he was due to receive £96,000 compensation following a motorbike accident.

He accessed her computer to obtain her credit card pin numbers and passwords to obtain items and money behind her back and tricked her into paying for a BMW car for him and take out other finance agreements, altogether involving £16,000.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the victim, Anne-Marie Dillon, a staff nurse, met Horsley, now 29, in June 2014 while both were doing volunteer work for St John’s Ambulance.

In a victim impact statement the 31-year-old told how it was her first serious relationship and described it as “a whirlwind romance”.

They became engaged two months after meeting and planned to marry in April last year. “I was cruelly deceived,” she stated.

“Almost everything he told me turned out to be a lie. It has left me with deep emotional scars and I don’t think I’ll ever trust another man.”

Arthur Gibson, prosecuting, said, “having formed the relationship he conned her, leaving her with significant debt.”

Horsley, who moved into her Atherton home, near Leigh, in August 2014, told her he was owed £96,000 after a motorbike crash which his ex-partner had misappropriated and the police were investigating.

“None of that was true,” said Mr Gibson.

He said he was consequently struggling financially and backed up his lies with a fake email ostensibly from the officer investigating the case.

He also claimed he had been recovering from bowel cancer but it had come back .

She allowed him to purchase items from her accounts and cards but only for individual transactions but he got the information he needed to use them by accessing her computer.

She discovered some of the illegal transactions in November and in late December spotted unauthorised transactions on her Santander account.

He tried to gain sympathy by saying his cancer had returned but she chucked him out on December 29.

Before his deceit was uncovered she had lent him money, took out a phone contract for him, he cheated her out of almost £3,000 in a pet insurance pay out and she took out finance on a BMW so he could get to work.

The losses she suffered totalled £15,927. Horsley, of Rydal Close, Aintree, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to six fraud offences, possessing an article for use in fraud and theft.

Paul Becker, defending, said that Horsley, a pizza delivery driver, had a personality disorder and a high level of impulsive behaviour. “He simply could not control what he was doing.”

In her impact statement Miss Dillon said she had been left about £13,600 in debt and was struggling to meet her monthly outgoings and had survived by borrowing from her 68-year-old father. He consequently has had to delay his planned retirement as he is £5000 out of pocket.

She said child care costs are high and she is worried about losing her home and feels isolated.

“I feel physically sick when thinking about it because of him.

“I never have any money to spend on anything which is not absolutely essential.”

Jailing Horsley for two and a half years, Recorder Mark Ford branded him “utterly despicable”.

“You entered into a relationship with this woman and set about exploiting your position and relationship in order to take her money to the extent that you knew placed her in severe financial difficulty.”